The Kilkenny branch of the ISPCA have asked locals to be more aware of the dangers posed to animal welfare by the wintry conditions.
Local inspector Noel O’Donoghue has asked residents to keep an eye out for animals they feel might out for animals they feel might be in danger from cold weather and malnutrition.
O’Donoghue reported that the local branch had received a number of calls from people concerned that water sources such as troughs had frozen in the harsh climate, leaving some animals without a place to drink.
“We’d ask people who find any water source that was frozen over to break any ice off by themselves if they can,” said O’Donoghue.
O’Donoghue had specific advice for bird-lovers trying to take care of birds during the cold snap. “Put out some food for them – nuts, or small fat balls if they can – and again, break any ice if there are ponds of drinking areas nearby, so that they can get to a water source safely.”
O’Donoghue also had general advice for animal welfare. “If they see an animal in distress, or on the road, take it in – and if they feel it’s causing a traffic problem then contact the Gardaí. However, we’d advise that if you take an animal in, to be conscious of the responsibility of caring for it.
“Put out extra food for animals and try to feed animals in sheltered areas where food isn’t likely to be frozen over or taken by other more dominant animals.”
O’Donoghue encouraged anyone concerned about an animal in distress to call the local branch of the SPCA.
The Kilkenny SPCA can be contacted at (056) 777 1635 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
After 5pm people can call (086) 8172167.
Information on stray dogs should be offered to the Carlow-Kilkenny Dog Shelter at (059) 972 6785,