Nobody volunteered to help feral cats in Offaly, Republic of Ireland

An organiser of the Offaly SPCA Facebook page lost their cool after nobody came forward in response to an urgent request for volunteers to help a colony of community cats.

I have published screenshots of the Facebook post requesting help and after no one came forward the exasperated response. It is quite telling and sad and it ends: REGARD/RESPECT FOR THE WELFARE OF CATS/KITTENS IS SHOCKING, SHAMEFUL & A THUNDERING DISGRACE.

Their appeal fell on deaf ears. They said that there are kittens pouring in from every corner of Offaly County. The person who wrote the post goes on to query “why I am even bothering to write this post when I know it’s a waste of time and most people will either not read the post at all or scroll past when they see it’s JUST a picture of cats BECAUSE CATS DON’T COUNT AT ALL. Yours Sincerely……a well & truly worn-out volunteer.

The man or woman is clearly at their wits end and understandably fed up. This is so typical of society. It does not have to be Ireland, America or the UK. On the one hand you have the volunteers who pick up the pieces. They are driven by their desire to help. They can’t not help and so they can become burnt out because a lot of work is required in cat rescue. On the other hand, there is the apathetic majority who don’t care and at the other extreme there are the “feral brats” who abuse cats as reported by the Offaly Express online.

They report on the failure of volunteers to come forward to help community cats in that county in the Republic of Ireland and they also report on the feral brats who shamefully and shockingly kicked around a sweet cat in a garden. So, in the middle of Ireland, we have feral brats kicking around feral cats for kicks. It’s no wonder this worker at the SPCA has lost their cool.

As the Facebook poster states, a small handful of volunteers can’t do the work alone. It is rather sad to read that they believe that there is a lot of “irresponsibility and downright disrespect for animals in Offaly (or elsewhere) and if this irresponsibility and apathy continues then Offaly won’t have a voluntary SPCA.

Feral brats kicked a cat around a garden
Feral brats kicked a cat around a garden. Pic: Offaly Express.

Like I said, it reflects society generally, I’m afraid. It hints at the difficult to digest fact that there are more bad people in this part of the world than good but this can’t be true. Perhaps it is about cats. There has always been a tendency of humankind to undervalue unwanted cats. It’s a double whammy because these cats should be wanted and are not because of human irresponsibility. On top of that you add the fact that they are perceived as pests and vermin by a lot of people which facilitate the abuse of these animals. It is not a pretty picture. At root the problem is a lack of education.

Are there general animal welfare problems in the Republic of Ireland? I quickly searched the Internet and Google brings up the question, “Why are there problems with animal welfare in Ireland?”

That question was asked by a veterinarian. He states that Irish pigs have their tails routinely docked within days of birth despite the fact that routine tail docking of pigs has been illegal in the EU since 2008! In addition, there is a Facebook page by Animal Welfare Awareness Ireland which states “Ireland is getting an extremely poor name for animal neglect and cruelty, thanks to our council’s and government’s failures on animal health and welfare.”

My initial research therefore indicates that there is an animal welfare issue in the Republic of Ireland and that the exasperation shown by the Offaly SPCA worker is not a one-off or unusual, which is probably why they are so worn out and disenchanted.


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