Clare students turn to video to spread animal welfare message


ST ANNE’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS opted for video to get their message across on stopping cruelty to animals, writes Dan Danaher.

The transition year pupils had planned to do a PowerPoint presentation on animal welfare for the pupils of Killaloe and Ballina Primary Schools.

However, they chose not to pursue these plans due to the high incidence of Covid-19 and now plan to film students giving insight into their research project in a new video.

Rebecca Rogers, Daniel Spaight, Amy Reilly and Dominik Maslanek are part of the media group for their Young Social Innovators project.

After surveying the students in their class, the four teenagers discovered that most of them had an animal at home and that animal welfare was a subject that really interested the majority of the class.

As part of their research for this YSI project, the students examined Irish case studies of animal cruelty and produced posters to raise awareness of the twin communities of Ballina and Killaloe.

Rebecca Rodgers, Killaloe, said students who were unhappy with the shameful way some animals were treated wanted to raise awareness about the importance of treating them properly.

Her family took in two dogs from an animal rescue center when she was four, which fostered a love of animals.

“Pets aren’t just something we buy for Christmas, we have them for life,” Rebecca said, pointing out that 3.2 million dogs and 3.2 million cats are put into shelters each year. killing in the world.

“Anyone who sees animal cruelty should report it to the Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA),” she added.

Rebecca recommended that people do proper research on what pet care entails before purchasing one.

“A dog needs about two walks a day and should be allowed outside for regular breaks. The amount of exercise depends on the type of dog you have. Some dogs are more energetic than others.
She encouraged people to adopt an animal from a place like an animal shelter rather than buying from a puppy farm.

Daniel Spaight, Killaloe, has had a Border Collie dog in his Killaloe home since 2016.

During the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, he recalled that there were many reports of abused animals and overwhelmed animal shelters after a dramatic increase in the number of abandoned animals, which was a shame for see.

“I love playing with my dog. It’s a shame to see dogs being abandoned and killed for no particular reason. I enjoyed working on the project. It was quite fun to do.

“It is shocking that so many cats and dogs are killed each year, but very little is being done about it. Anyone who takes in an animal must treat it properly by training and feeding it.

He said people should also make financial donations to animal shelters in their own locality.

Amy Reilly from Cloontra near Clonlara thinks animal welfare is a very important topic as she has owned dogs all her life.

She can’t understand why people would want to hurt them or neglect them, which is why she thinks more people across the country need to be educated about it.

She said many pets end up being neglected or abused because people don’t have the time or patience to handle them.

“Many people think that buying a pet for a Christmas or birthday present, mainly dogs, is a great idea because they are cute animals that you can teach to sit or play at the ball.”

“I personally don’t find this fair on the dog or other pets because in addition to teaching tricks, you have to potty train, bring vet appointments, make exercise, feed and water, wash and many other things with them.

“They are also very expensive depending on the breed you have, as some animals require more maintenance than others.”

Stressing the importance of public awareness, she proposed that this could be increased by posting about this topic on social media and highlighting it in mainstream media.

While working on the project, she learned that fines for animal abuse can be up to €250,000 or up to five years in prison or both depending on the circumstances.

She also discovered that after the lockdown, the Clare Animal Shelter in Ennis had a large number of animals, mostly dogs, returned or found on the streets. This also happened in many other shelters across the country, which she found quite shocking.

Many people returned their pets after returning to work and school and no longer had time to care for them.

Dominik Manlanek, who lives in Ballina, believes animal abuse is unethical and feels compelled to do his best to help animals. He was shocked to learn that there were more animals in shelters each year than he expected.

To reduce animal cruelty, he believes people need to know the costs of owning a specific pet so that after a while it is not neglected, as well as to raise awareness across Ireland.

“During the project our whole class was fully engaged and I think we all did a great job as part of a local group.”


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