Northern Ireland news

Rescued terriers given lifeline by Co Down animal sanctuary

Rescued terriers Butters and Custard at Assisi Animal Sanctuary in Co Down. Picture by Hugh Russell

ONE CO Down animal shelter rang in 2018 by giving a lifeline to dogs rescued from a puppy farm.

Lucy Green, supervisor of the dog section at Assisi Animal Sanctuary, said eight female terriers had been saved from horrific conditions and were brought to the centre, outside Conlig, on new year's eve.

"One of them is pregnant so she is being fostered," she said.

"They all have had puppies recently so their puppies may have been sold as Christmas presents.

"They had been mistreated and were really badly matted, covered in urine and faeces. We have had to shave two of them completely bald."

Rabbits are looking for a new home in 2018. Picture by Hugh Russell

She said although the shelter had not yet experienced a post-Christmas influx of unwanted pets, its staff were caring for a particularly large number of rabbits.

"People don't realise they live for 10, 11, 12 years," she said. "Often people get them and think they'll be an easy pet for their kids but the kids lose interest or go off to university," she said.

Ms Green said several rabbits have lived at the sanctuary for years.

"They are quite complex with their medical issues," she said. "If a rabbit is in pain you wouldn't know. Some of the rabbits have medical conditions and people don't want to take them on."

She said a large number of people have contacted the sanctuary over the Christmas period to ask about re-homing some of the animals.

"We have been quite busy," she said. "A lot of people have come to us with a specific breed (of dog) and size in mind. People are willing to wait and they will keep coming back."

Ms Green advised anyone thinking of re-homing a rescue animal to "do your research".

"Go online; talk to people who have the type of animal you want, come and talk to us," she said. "Our staff are on-hand to give advice."

Assisi Animal Sanctuary can be contacted on 028 9181 2622

Nine-week Dachshund crosses Lloyd, Luna and Laurence at Assisi Animal Sanctuary. Picture by Hugh Russell

Picture by Hugh Russell

 Picture by Hugh Russell

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