By Rose Barrett
Midland Animal Care Ltd will commence dog shelter operations on behalf of Fingal County Council from Wednesday, 15 September and will also provide dog shelter services at Hollygrove Kennels in Newcastle, for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and South Dublin County Council (from October 1).
Previously, Ashton Dog Pound provided a dog warden service for the county but the contract was ceased following a garda investigation which saw charges of animal cruelty made against the owner of the dog pound, and several members of staff. Five people were charged and their cases heard before Dublin District Court last month; the defendants were ordered to appear before the court on September 17.
Cllr Tania Doyle (Ongar) who has been steadfast in calling for a new dog shelter contractor to be appointed stated “For quite some time, the provision of shelter and control of dogs has been to the fore within the public consciousness. Since becoming an elected member of Fingal County Council, I have vociferously called for increased provisions within the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
“Earlier this year, following on from my motion, a sub-committee was formed to undertake a specific review of the SLA’s agreement, terms and conditions. I’ve made no secret of my push to have the best care given to those dogs taken into care by FCC and local authorities.
“Midland Animal Care will now provide dog shelter services at Hollygrove Kennels. Work went on behind the scenes; although it appeared nothing was being done, it was vitally important to have a more robust ‘service level agreement’ in place which mandated the highest levels of care and shelter.
“This is a very positive step forward and I wish to acknowledge the endeavours of FCC to institute market leading terms and conditions. Going forward now, I remain of the strong opinion that FCC must, going forward, make provision for the planning, development and operation of a shelter and control completely under its own administration.“
All Midland Animal Care staff members working with dogs on behalf of the local authorities will be trained to veterinary nurse standard or equivalent and the company currently have working arrangements with four registered veterinary practices for the provision of veterinary and animal welfare services.
Dog warden services for South Dublin County will continue to be provided by the council’s two full-time dog wardens.