Tipperary Friends of Animals urge pet owners to neuter their dogs and cats

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Tipperary Friends of Animals urge pet owners to neuter their dogs and cats

Comedian Brendan Grace: supporting Tipperary Friends of Animals

Pet owners are being urged by a local animal welfare charity to have their cats and dogs neutered to curb the hugh number of strays around the area.

Linda Hehir, chair of Nenagh-based Friends of Tipperary Animals, made the call following a coffee morning in aid of the group which was attended by comedian Brendan Grace and Miss Ireland Niamh Kennedy from Portroe.

“Our main message is getting pet owners to neuter their pets,” she said.

Ms Hehir pointed out that if a cat was not neutered at six months, there was “every chance they would have kittens before they were eight months old”.

The charity runs a voucher system with Summerhill Veterinary Clinic and Country Practice in Nenagh and with Brittas Animal Hosital in Thurles that supports those on social welfare to have their pets neutered.

Ms Hehir said that the problem would continue unless the Government put money into regulating breeding.

“There are no statistics for unaccounted for cats. Thousands of kittens die each year. We handle about 800 cats annually and a percentage would have to be put to sleep,” she said.

However, it was not all bad news as “some bad news can become good news”, she said.

Ms Hehir revealed that they had recently rescued a cat that had its fur covered in burnt oil and which had to have most of its hair removed.

“We named her Slick and she made a full recovery. She is now rehomed on a farm in Northern Ireland,” she said.

Tipperary Friends of Animals also traps feral cats, that is, domestic cats that have gone wild either through being abandoned other for other reasons.

“Cats have a bad life. It can be very hard to rehouse them,” she said. “People need to be responsible with their pets. Sometimes they get dogs that are inappropriate to their lifestyle or circumstances.”

Ms Hehir thanked all those who turned up for the coffee morning, saying local member Kathleen O'Connor from Portroe deserved credit for organising it with her son, Michael.

The group also thanked all those who supported it, including The Peppermill, Country Choice, Collins Bakery, O'Connors Supermarket, Foley Spar, Gortlandroe, and Cora's Hair Salon, Portroe. Thanks to Orla and Bridie for their buns and cakes, and to Catherine, Kieran, John and Michael for all their help.

Meanwhile, while they say you should never work with animals, comedian Brendan "Bottler" Grace disproved that when he turned out to help raise awareness and much needed funds for Tipperary Friends of Animals in The Peppermill restaurant, Nenagh.

"There was a good turnout and the contributions were good," Brendan told the Tipperary Star. "But the most important thing was to raise awareness. I was delighted to help if it helps give it a focus."

The internationally renowned funnyman said the neglect of animals was a continuing problem.

But, he said, "anyone can help out".

Brendan, who has been based in Ballina for a number of years, dividing his time between the lakeside village and his home in America, has been carrying out charity work all his life, mostly with children and the elderly.

"It takes so little to make a difference," he said. "My attitude is if you can't do a good turn, don't do a bad turn."

He revealed that even as a child growing up in Dublin's Liberties he was always bringing stray or injured animals home and would try and find a home for them.

"It is in your psyche as a kid," said Brendan. “Animals can do no harm.”

He was full of praise for Peppermill owner Robert Gill, who made the restaurant available, and to his staff who gave of their time freely.

"Volunteerism is so important and people are very good to volunteer and give of their time," said Brendan. "People like me can give it a high profile, but there are hundreds of people working away in the background doing all the work. There are a lot of unsung heroes," he said.