From the moment Katie McDermott took two red setters from the boot of a car at a horse show in Raphoe over eight years ago, she has been involved in the rehoming of over 50 dogs throughout Inishowen, Northern Ireland, Germany and now even Mauritius.
The Inishowen Rehoming Centre though only officially formed in January this year has been involved in looking after animals and reuniting them with loving homes in the peninsula for almost a decade.
Driven by their love for animals and passion for their welfare, Culdaff based husband and wife team Danny and Katie McDermott with the help of facebook have been able to find loving homes for many of Inishowen’s canine friends,
“I literally can’t pass a stray dog in the street,” explained Katie. “It isn’t as bad as it used to be, but there used to be hundreds of stray dogs about. Unfortunately you can’t save every dog, and we don’t have the facility to take in unwanted or stray pets, but we will do everything we can to rehome them for people.”
In the past three months alone the Inishowen Rehoming Centre has found new homes for 19 dogs, and currently have three dogs ready and waiting for a loving family.
“We can only have three dogs here at one time so we can’t take in all unwanted pets, but we try and save ‘death row’ dogs from the pound as they can only keep them five days before putting them down. In that way we feel as though we’re saving a life.”
The team work in conjunction with other animal centres throughout the North West including Donegal Pet Rescue and Derry Pound.
“We have a good relationship with the people that work in the Pound so they will contact us if for instance a husky comes in because they know we could deal with it. Pounds are getting a lot better but in Inishowen the nearest dog warden is in Letterkenny and the have to deal with the whole of Donegal.”
Although the pair receive small funding from the department unfortunately the costs involved in caring and treating animals don’t come close, however a good relationship with the local vet has been a huge help to the Rehoming Centre.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our vet, Ann Scott in Carndonagh. She never asks us for money for the rescue dogs immediately, her support has been great. Each rescue dog will cost us 200 euro between neutering, vaccinations and we also have a micro chip installed, this is why we have to ask for adoption fee because that money helps to care for the next dog that comes along. We also get help from our two dog walkers Amy and Nicole which is great because it really helps us out. And my daughter Sam helps out when we’re away at dog shows.”
The pair also arrange some fundraising events to try and cope with the costs in running the centre and this Saturday at Bunagee Pier in a bid to raise some vital funds there will be a fun day for all the family.
“We’ll have face painting, bouncy castle, games as well as dog shows for all types of dogs. Hopefully we’ll be to raise some money and have a good time with the dogs while we are at it.
To get in contact with the group search for Inishowen Rehoming Centre on facebook for full details