CAMPAIGN MASCOT Shep, the ISPCA Inspector for Co Mayo Campaign’s mascot, was rehomed in Claremorris after he was rescued, along with 340 dogs and eleven horses, from a puppy farm last year.
Campaign for Mayo ISPCA Inspector gathering steam
The Irish Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’s Inspectors investigate complaints of abandoned, neglected and cruelly treated animals, and as such, they are the front line against animal cruelty in Ireland. It may come as a surprise to many, but Co Mayo does not have its own dedicated ISPCA Inspector. However, one group of animal lovers in the county is campaigning hard to change the situation.
There are a number of animal rescues in Mayo, and the valuable work of their committed volunteers cannot be understated. However, they are hamstrung in one crucial way. “The rescue centres to a brilliant job, but they cannot go onto a property and seize animals in distress,” Carol Smiley, one of the Mayo campaigners, tells The Mayo News.
This is one of the reasons a dedicated ISPCA Inspector is needed in Mayo. Under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, the society’s inspectors have the legal authority to investigate complaints of animal cruelty and neglect, and where necessary, enter a property without consent, remove animals and instigate legal proceedings. The inspectors also carry out a vital role in educating the public and animal owners about all aspects of animal care and welfare.
“The cost of a dedicated Inspector is €50,000 annually, which covers training, uniform, salary and vehicle costs,” Carol explains. “We have agreed with the ISPCA that we will campaign to raise €25,000 by the end of 2016. This will be matched by the ISPCA, and an Inspector will be put in place. We will then continue to raise a further €25,000 for the second year, again matched by the ISPCA, to take us to the end of 2018, when the ISPCA will take over all funding of the post.”
The number of animals whose lives could be saved or changed for the better if the county had its own inspector ‘could be measured in thousands’, the group believes.
Under the banner ‘ISPCA Inspector for Co Mayo Campaign’, Carol and her fellow campaigners have already raised over €9,000 with raffles, a dog show, sale of donated items and various other events. They are now inviting animal rescues, vets, individuals, organisations and groups who understand the benefits of having an ISPCA Inspector to join their campaign.
To raise awareness and drum up more support, the group is holding a public meeting on Thursday, May 19, from 8pm to 10pm, at Castlebar Celtic Football Clubhouse on Pavilion Road, Castlebar. The meeting will be hosted by the CEO of the ISPCA, Dr Andrew Kelly, and an ISPCA inspector, who will discuss the role of ISPCA Inspectors in the care and welfare of animals in Ireland and answer any questions.
For more information on the ISPCA Inspector for Co Mayo Campaign, visit www.ispcamayofriends.com or the ISPCAInspector4CoMayoCampaign page on Facebook, follow @inspector4mayo on Twitter, or email email@example.com. More information on ISPCA inspectors is available at www.ispca.ie/ispca_inspectorate.