The Green Party and the ISPCA today issued a call to pet owners to take extra care of their animals as Halloween approaches.
ISPCA CEO, Dr Andrew Kelly said: “The noise and activity of Halloween can distress pets and the ISPCA strongly recommend that you keep your pets indoors to ensure you have all of your pet(s) microchipped as permanent forms of identification so that they can be returned to the owner if they get lost or stolen. Halloween is also a dangerous time for our wildlife so ensure you check all wood, scrub and leaves for hibernating hedgehogs before lighting any bonfires. If you witness an animal being subjected to cruel treatment, please notify your local Gardaí immediately and contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or report online.
Green Party Spokesperson on Animal Welfare, Pippa Hackett said: “We usually expect an increase in the numbers of stray and frightened pets at this time of year, which puts extra pressure on animal rescue centres, dog pounds and veterinary clinics. We commend the dedicated work undertaken by the many animal welfare groups in the country, many of which rely on volunteers and the goodwill of the public to operate”.
The ISPCA and the Green Party have called on the Government to ensure the laws that exists in relation to animal welfare are applied this Halloween. The ISPCA has a dedicated team of just nine Animal Welfare Inspectors currently covering 17 counties but cannot help animals in some parts of the country as we do not have enough Inspectors.
There are some simple steps that pet owners can implement for example, microchipping will give pet owners the best chance of being reunited so rescue centres can locate you as an owner, should your pet run away. Pets should have somewhere safe and secure, preferably kept indoors. Outdoor pets should be brought indoors or into a secure shed, so that they are shielded from any loud bangs or flashes. If your pet should escape, contact your local animal rescue centre or dog pound, who will be happy to reunite you with your pet if they have picked it up. Larger animal including horses and farm animals can also become upset by Halloween festivities, so their welfare needs to be considered also.
For more ISPCA tips and advice to help protect your pets this Halloween, please visit http://www.ispca.ie/protecting_animals_at_halloween