Hundreds of people and their dogs congregated in Belfast city yesterday to protest against animal cruelty.
New animal welfare support group Northern Ireland Says No To Animal Cruelty is demanding a dedicated PPNI unit to tackle crimes against animals.
Recently an East Belfast family walked free after a major animal cruelty case and the peop
le of Belfast as absolutely horrified that crimes such as these were not punished. Jeremiah Kirkwood (43) and sons Chris (23) and Wayne (20), of Island Street, admitted keeping animals for fighting, while Jamie Morrow (19) admitted similar charges in what a judge termed “one of the vilest examples of premeditated abuse”. They were banned from keeping, dealing in or transporting animals for 10 years. However, as the Belfast Telegraph revealed earlier this month, there is no central list of those banned from keeping animals for welfare officers to refer to.
The people of Northern Ireland gathered to show their support for tougher sentencing for people convicted of animal cruelty.
Jacob, Keegan and Harrison Howell aged 12, are triplets from Yukon. All three boys are on the Autism Spectrum and experience different challenges with social, motor and communication skills.
The boys have grown up in a house with both cats and dogs but last summer Jacob and Keegan started caring for pigs as part of a non-profit program called Agvocates for Exceptional Individuals. The boys made a connection with the pigs and as a result their verbal and social interactions improved. The boys cared for the pigs and it wasn’t long until they were able to guide the pigs around and eventually compete in a show.
The boys became very attached to the pigs and interacted with them in ways they had never interacted with dog or cats. They would lie beside the pigs and hug them and they also became very possessive about feeding them. “Pigs are some of the most social animals for kids on the autism spectrum,” said the boys’ father Duane Howell. “They made a bond.”
Both boys’ pigs placed at the recent Oklahoma Youth Fair Expo at the State Fair Park.
In sad news for a lot of Autistic children, Irish Guide Dogs has been forced to close the waiting list for its autism assistance programme for a second time due to a lack of resources and huge over subscription.
This assistance dog programme supports children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and the primary goal of the assistance dog is to help children with Autism by acting as a safety aid and promoting calmness.
In summer 2012 this list was closed for the first time as the waiting list for children came to over 5 years. After this closure they worked very hard to get this to a more manageable level with the resources that they had and in Jan 2014 the list was reopened. After only 1 hour of reopening there had already been 30 more applications. “We allowed the wait list to remain open until the waiting list grew to a 2-3 year time period; any longer and it is not a sustainable list,” said Padraig Mallon, CEO with Irish Guide Dogs. “We are most certainly disappointed that we had to close the list again. I would like to thank our dedicated staff and volunteers, particularly our dog trainers and instructors who really worked hard to clear the waiting list and to train as many people as possible. And we look forward to working with the families who are currently on the list.”
At the moment the charity doesn’t have the financial or human resources to keep growing this programme in order to meet the growing demand for these assistance dogs. Irish Guide Dogs receive 80% of their funding from fundraising and 20% from the government and already the statutory funding for the assistance dog program has been cut hugely over the last few years.
240 families in Ireland have an assistance dog at the moment and have said that there are many benefits of having an assistance dog and it has changed their’s and their children’s everyday lives for the better.
Irish Guide Dogs first introduced this programme in 2005 and was the first to bring this programme to Europe. It has been evaluated by University College Cork which found that the programme has significant benefits for parents and guardians of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This research is soon to be published in the British Medical Journal.
If you would like to donate to Irish Guide Dogs check out http://www.irishguidedogs.ie or to support the work of Irish Guide Dogs text WOOF to 57500 to donate €2.50.
Dog walkers around Ireland have woken up this morning to news of a new law passed only in the last few hours. Last night legislation was pushed through Dáil Éireann and this new law has been enacted with immediate effect. All dog owners must pick up their dog faeces after fouling in public places. Recent developments in DNA profiling has helped members of An Garda Síochána in being able to identify breed and sex of dogs who defecate on pavements. This new law has given judges the freedom to prosecute and give out prison terms of up to 3 years for repeat offenders and all offenders will receive on the spot fines of €500. Luke Ming Flanagan was asked to comment and he quoted “what fines are there for all the bullshite Fine Gael spread all over the Dail chambers”
Press Release – Pawsitive Dog Training Will Participate in the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge
Pawsitive Dog Training Will Participate in the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge
Pawsitive Dog Training will participate with Doggone Safe in the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge. It challenges its presenters to visit schools and educate 50,000 children about dog safety during the months of Mar-May. The Challenge is to celebrate Dog Bite Prevention Week which occurs during the 3rd full week in May. Non-profit Doggone Safe has presenters in 17 countries, 11 Canadian provinces and 43 states in the USA.
Dog bites to children are considered to be a serious public health problem by public health agencies and veterinary medical associations worldwide. Statistics show that most bites are by the family dog or other dog known to the child. “Experts agree that public education has an important role to play in reducing dog bite risk to children, and the Be a Tree program is one of the ways Doggone Safe is contributing”, said Teresa Lewin, vice president and cofounder of Doggone Safe.
Louise Jones is a presenter of the “Be a Tree” dog bite prevention program for school children. The program is delivered by Doggone Safe presenters, veterinary technicians, dog trainers, dog behaviorists, public health nurses, emergency medical services personnel, animal control officers, police officers, teachers and humane educators. Presenters use a teacher kit which contains large format photographs showing dog body language signs, games and activities. Program sponsors can purchase supplementary branded learning materials such as coloring books, paint sheets, a story book, a poster, stickers, bookmarks and fridge magnets. Over 700,000 children worldwide have experienced the Be a Tree presentation since 2004. Through the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge, Doggone Safe aims to increase this by almost ten percent.
“I love ‘be a tree’ (and ‘be a rock’). It’s the best of its kind. This information has to get out there”, said Jean Donaldson – Internationally recognized dog behavior expert, award-winning author and director of the Academy for Dog Trainers.
For more information about the Challenge please visit the Doggone Safe website at www.doggonesafe.com. Presentations for schools or community groups in Dublin & surrounding areas can be booked directly through Louise Jones.
About Pawsitive Dog Training
Established in 2010 by Louise Jones, we aim to promote force-free methods of dog training throughout the country by offering one-to-one training in client’s homes and through group classes. We also offer desensitisation sessions for people with a fear of dogs, some of which may be due to being bitten by a dog in the past. We offer presentations to schools and clubs educating children on appropriate interactions with dogs and how to recognise basic body language. We hope that by educating children on how to correctly interact with dogs, we can reduce the number of children being bitten and attacked by dogs, regardless of breed or size.
For more information or to book a visit to your school or club, contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0877438478