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  • Pets abandoned by emigrating owners, say centres

    Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

    About a year ago, the number of cars being abandoned at Dublin Airport was cited in the media as an indication of rising emigration. A new measure has emerged: the number of abandoned pets.

    The Irish Independent reports that charities that look after pets are seeing an increase in the number of owners leaving their pets, with people blaming financial difficulties or their intentions to emigrate to seek work. Last year there were 20,000 dogs that were abandoned or given up, with about half of those put down.

    The paper reports that the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals “has received a recent influx of calls from people looking to surrender or re-home their pets.” An animal rescue centre in Tipperary has seen the numbers of animals it’s taking in rising by a fifth, while facing slumping donations.

    In an editorial, the paper says:

    It seems a reasonable guess that people intending to emigrate form a high proportion of those who abandon animals. This in turn draws attention to the increase in emigration among both Irish people and returning immigrants, an inevitable consequence of the recession.

    People who are planning to leave Ireland may not be aware that in many cases they may simply be able to take their animals with them. While Ireland has strict regulations that make it difficult to bring animals in, most emigrant destinations allow intending immigrants to move with their pets.

    As for the definitive answer on how many people are emigrating, we await the publication of the CSO statistics, due in the next few weeks, to reveal the numbers behind the anecdotes.

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