Spay Aware Ireland - News

NEWS

PRESS RELEASE - Wednesday 17th July 2013

Spay-Aware-Poster-2013

SpayAware challenges men to “tackle that tackle!”

SpayAware is urging men to help end the nation’s deadly toll of unwanted cats and dogs – by tackling their pet’s tackle!

The challenge has been laid down by TV Vet and SpayAware campaigner Pete Wedderburn, who wants the traditional male to rethink his attitudes to pet ownership in response to SpayAware’s recently launched ‘Real Men Neuter’ campaign.

“It’s time for men in Ireland to help end the nation’s deadly toll of unwanted cats and dogs – by tackling their pet’s tackle!” says Pete, who works with SpayAware to highlight the importance of spaying and neutering to address Ireland’s pet overpopulation crisis.

“Many men still cling to the traditional view that it is wrong or unnatural to spay or neuter pets, in spite of clear evidence that this is the only effective way to deal with the country’s pet overpopulation crisis, resulting in the deaths of thousands of healthy but unwanted cats and dogs.”

In a bid to change views, SpayAware is this year taking a fresh approach by targeting men in its annual poster campaign. Bearing the message “Real Men Neuter”, the poster encourages them to play their part to end the destruction by spaying or neutering their pets.

Pete Wedderburn explains that in many countries including Ireland, men are among a key group of owners who do not believe in spaying or neutering their pets.

“Many men tend to project their attitudes and feelings about masculinity and virility onto their dogs, with the result that they refuse to have them neutered,” he says.

“We think this new campaign poster is witty, thought provoking and a way to engage particularly with young men who see their dogs’ virility as an extension of their own.”

“Here in Ireland a significant number of men also hold to the same view. They feel very uncomfortable with the notion of castration, even in a dog, and that it is somehow wrong or unnatural.”

“Such attitudes are typical of the many myths and misconceptions around spaying and neutering, but the reality is that in the vast majority of cases, the spay/neuter option not only avoids breeding unwanted animals that will end up being put down, it is also better for their pet’s long term health. Our advice to all owners is to discuss the spay/neuter option with your vet today.”

The “Real Men Neuter” poster (attached) is now currently on display in hundreds of veterinary clinics, MaxiZoo stores, and other locations around the country. It can also be viewed on the DoneDeal website, LoveMyPet.ie and is available as a download from spayaware.ie.

“The poster is designed to instigate discussion and debate on this very important topic. No doubt it will provoke strong reaction from some people but the aim is to get the message across to a key group of owners that we have not reached in the past.”

While there has been a significant fall in the number of dogs destroyed in Irish pounds over the past ten years, most recent figures from the Department of the Environment show that over 4,500 dogs were destroyed in 2012. No official figures are available in relation to cats but anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that there is an even higher death rate amongst abandoned felines.

The toll of unwanted pets would be much higher but for the efforts by animal welfare charities to find them new homes.

“Animal welfare charities have done tremendous work reducing unwanted animal destruction rates by organising subsidised spay or neuter schemes or rehoming abandoned pets, while thousands of individual owners have played their part by making a conscious effort to adopt a pet from their local animal rescue group rather than buying a pedigree kitten or puppy. Ultimately, however, the most responsible solution to the problem of unwanted litters is to spay and neuter our cats and dogs.”

SpayAware is supported by Veterinary Ireland, the DoneDeal Foundation and Maxi Zoo, as well as a range of well-known Irish animal welfare and rescue groups. For further information, visit:spayaware.ie

The DoneDeal Foundation is committed to creating meaningful change in the community, through social, health, educational and environmental measures, and by investing in direct support services, research and advocacy for older people, adults, children and animals. Its PetAware Project promotes responsible pet ownership and advocates adoption of animals as a first choice over purchase.

According to Georgina Neal, Project Manager with the DoneDeal Foundation, “The Foundation envisions a time when our society celebrates the human-animal bond, embraces the mutual benefits and treats all fellow beings with care, compassion and respect.”

“We have been working with animal welfare groups and rescue centres for more than two years helping find suitable homes by promoting Adoption First Choice on the DoneDeal.ie website. Last year more than 800 pets that had been spayed / neutered, vaccinated and microchipped by these groups were rehomed through this partnership.”

“For the third year, the DoneDeal Foundation is delighted to support the SpayAware campaign,” says Orla Aungier, Project Manager with the DoneDeal Foundation. “The campaign is taking an edgy approach this year and tackling a topic that some people still feel uncomfortable about, anything that drives discussion and debate and raises awareness of pets wellbeing in Ireland is a good thing.”

Darren Spoonley, Sales and Marketing manager with Maxi Zoo, says his company is delighted to co-sponsor the SpayAware initiative. “As a major pet store retailer, we strongly advocate responsible pet ownership to all our customers, including the message that spaying and neutering is the best way to deal with the issue of unwanted cats and dogs.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT:

www.spayaware.ie
donedeal.ie
www.maxizoo.ie
SpayAware on Facebook
SpayAware on Twitter

Spay-Aware-Launch-2013

Pete with volunteers from Ash Animal Rescue Group, Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow, staff from the Radisson Blu St. Helen's Hotel, Stillorgan, Bud and Spud and MaxiZoo Dog and cat at the launch of SpayAware 2013 at the Radisson Blu St. Helen's Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin.

Here at SpayAware, we are constantly looking for new ways to promote the message that spaying and neutering is essential to ending Ireland’s annual toll of unwanted cats and dogs. That’s why we are pleased to announce a number of new initiatives aimed at persuading more people to take a responsible attitude to pet ownership by having their animals neutered or spayed. These include:

• The launch of our new website

• A fresh new approach to our annual poster campaign

• Exciting TV advertising featuring live action and animation

• Closer co-operation with vets, animal welfare organisations, charities and concerned individuals

• Greater use of social media to get our message across

Created and developed by a team of professional people who have given their time on a voluntary basis, our new website is designed to provide wide-ranging information on all aspects of spaying and neutering, including not just its importance to ending the overpopulation crisis, but the health benefits for dogs and cats. It also serves as a permanent informational resource. Our new poster challenges traditional myths, misconceptions and prejudices around the spay/ neuter debate with the challenging message “Real Men Neuter.” Downloadable versions of the posters are available.

Introducing Bud And Spud

Bud And Spud Animated

Bud and Spud in their animated form...


Spay Aware Bud And Spud

....and these "Bud And Spud" suits were specially made for the campaign by students of the Institute Of Art and Design in Dun Laoghaire.

We currently have three television ads in production, two featuring well-known people and the third animated cartoon characters Bud the dog and Spud the cat, specially created to promote the SpayAware message. They have even jumped off the screen in the form of lifesized costumed characters! We would be delighted to hear from any company or individual interested in supporting us by sponsoring these ads.

Over recent times, SpayAware has been working closely with a wide range of organisations to promote our message. We are especially grateful to Veterinary Ireland (representative body of the country’s vets), the DoneDeal Foundation and Maxi Zoo for their sponsorship and support. We would also like to thank Dogs Trust, The ISPCA and the Blue Cross, all of which support our goal and have contributed to our ongoing discussions. Finally, we would also like to thank the nationwide network of animal welfare charities and organisations, individual vets and concerned people who continue to support our efforts. At a time when social media is in increasingly important communication tool, you can now find out more about SpayAware through our Facebook page or by following us on Twitter.

Broadcaster Claire Byrne has launched a new initiative to end the needless destruction of the nation’s unwanted dogs and cats. Claire joined fellow broadcaster and TV vet Pete Wedderburn for the launch of SpayAware, which aims to reduce the annual toll of healthy cats and dogs destroyed in Ireland by persuading more owners to spay or neuter their pets. The Primetime presenter recently set a good example by having her pet Labrador ‘Rosie’ spayed.

Formerly Spay Ireland, SpayAware is highlighting the issue through its newly launched website: www.spayaware.ie. According to SpayAware founder Pete Wedderburn, Ireland remains one the worst offenders in Europe when it comes to destroying healthy animals as a means of dealing with our unwanted pets problem. “There is no room for complacency,” he says. “Although there has been a downward trend in the national dog destruction rate over recent times, figures show that over 4,500 dogs were still destroyed in Irish pounds in 2012. That’s an average of over 12 per day, which is 12 too many.”

Speaking at the SpayAware launch at the Radisson Blu St Helen’s Hotel in Dublin, Pete said the best way individual pet owners can help end the killing is to ensure their cats or dogs are neutered or spayed. As part of a fresh approach to the issue, he explained that SpayAware is seeking to target its message at owners who, for a variety of reasons, do not believe in spaying or neutering their pets.

“There are a lot of myths and misconceptions around spaying and neutering,” he says. “Many owners still feel that it is somehow better to let nature run its course, but the reality is that in the vast majority of cases, the spay/neuter option not only avoids breeding unwanted animals that will end up being put down, it is also better for their pet’s long term health. Our advice to owners is to discuss the spay/neuter option with your vet today.

“Animal welfare charities have done tremendous work reducing unwanted animal destruction rates by organising subsidised spay or neuter schemes or rehoming abandoned pets, while thousands of individual owners have played their part by making a conscious effort to adopt a pet from their local animal rescue group rather than buying a pedigree kitten or puppy. Ultimately, however, the most responsible solution to the problem of unwanted litters is to spay and neuter our cats and dogs.”

SpayAware is supported by Veterinary Ireland, the DoneDeal Foundation and Maxi Zoo, as well as a range of well-known Irish animal welfare and rescue groups. For further information, visit: www.SpayAware.ie

The DoneDeal Foundation is committed to creating meaningful change in the community, through social, health, educational and environmental measures, and by investing in direct support services, research and advocacy for older people, adults, children and animals. Its PetAware Project promotes responsible pet ownership and advocates adoption of animals as a first choice over purchase.

According to Georgina Neal, Project Manager with the DoneDeal Foundation, “The Foundation envisions a time when our society celebrates the human-animal bond, embraces the mutual benefits and treats all fellow beings with care, compassion and respect. “We are dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Our goal is to make shelters, rescue centres and local authority pounds the first place potential pet owners turn to when looking for a new pet, ensuring that all healthy and rehomable pets find loving homes, so working towards the reduction of pet overpopulation.”

“For the third year, the DoneDeal Foundation is delighted to support the SpayAware campaign,” says Orla Aungier, Project Manager with the DoneDeal Foundation. “We continue to invest in local programmes that address the need to home shelter and pound animals, increase awareness of responsible pet ownership and reduce pet overpopulation of companion animals and feral cats.”

Darren Spoonley, Sales and Marketing manager with Maxi Zoo, says his company is delighted to co-sponsor the SpayAware initiative. "“As a major pet store retailer, we strongly advocate responsible pet ownership to all our customers, including the message that spaying and neutering is the best way to deal with the issue of unwanted cats and dogs.”

In a related development, SpayAware has welcomed the passing by the Oireachtas of the Animal Health and Welfare Bill. “It is over a century since the previous animal welfare legislation was passed, so this new act is very welcome,” says Pete Wedderburn. “There are many aspects to the new legislation which will strengthen the battle against animal cruelty.” President Michael D. Higgins is to sign the new bill into law in the coming days.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, VISIT:

www.spayaware.ie
www.lovemypet.ie
donedeal.ie
www.maxizoo.ie