01 Jul 2022

‘Four or five rescues in the last two weeks have closed their doors,’ -The Haven Rescue

The Haven Rescue discuss their upcoming adoption day in Nenagh and the impact of the pandemic.

‘Four or five rescues in the last two weeks have closed their doors,’ -The Haven Rescue

Bo who will be attending adoption day next week looking for her new home

The Haven Rescue is holding an adoption day for cats and dogs in Muddy Paws pet shop, Nenagh, on Saturday from 11am to 3pm. This will be their first adoption day in two years.

The Haven Rescue is based outside Roscrea and cares for all sorts of animals. It was founded by Rosie Dowling and Jennifer Nolan in 2017.

“We decided to set up our own rescue because we saw a need there. So, since 2017 we have been rescuing dogs, cats, goats, chickens; kind of anything that needs our help,” said Rosie.

The Haven Rescue
Rosie is a dog behaviourist, and when a dog comes to the Haven Rescue, it is assessed, provided with medical treatment and placed with a foster home.

The rescue is foster-based, which means that people and families look after the animal until they are ready to go to a permanent home.

“The foster homes are very good. Some have kids, some have cats, and they all have dogs. So we place the dogs where available and what will suit the needs of the dog, ”said Rosie.

These three arrived at the Haven Rescue last week from Carlow/ Kilkenny pound

The Pandemic
According to Rosie, the pandemic has placed a huge burden on not only The Haven but rescues across the country. She says The Haven Rescue receives around 15 calls a day from people surrendering dogs. Many people bought dogs during the pandemic when they were confined to their homes. However, as the country reopened and people returned to work, they realised they couldn’t look after their dogs.

This has put pressure on animal welfare organisations nationwide.

“The influx of dogs. Every pound, every rescue in the country. Four or five rescues in the last two weeks have closed their doors. They just can’t take the amount of dogs that there are,” explained Rosie.

The Haven Rescue currently has 67 dogs waiting to go to new homes.

While they are based in Tipperary, they have foster families in Galway, Kilkenny, and Waterford.

“We have been very lucky with our foster homes. They have doubled up, and they have been very good at taking dogs from ourselves. We are very excited about the adoption day, said Rosie.

Before Adopting
Ahead of the adoption day on May 21, Rosie has some advice for those hoping to take home a dog. She says people should consider if the dog will suit their lifestyle.

Rosie says many people who want a dog for small children choose small dogs. But in general small dogs don’t make good pets for young kids.

“That’s not necessarily how it works. Usually, smaller dogs don’t have the temperament for kids.They are quite used to their comfort,” said Rosie.

Those looking to adopt more energetic breeds like labradors or springer spaniels should consider how active the breed can be.
Rosie says if you are not very active, you should consider something more ‘laid back.’

While not what most people think of when they imagine adopting a dog, Rosie recommends greyhounds and lurchers.

“The forgotten breed, as I say to people. But actually, they make fabulous pets, especially for people with kids. I highly recommend a lurcher or greyhound,” said Rosie.

If you are interested in adopting this Saturday be sure to get in touch with The Haven ahead of the day to have a chat and get the adoption ball rolling.

Pictured Above and Below: Bertie and Bianca arrived from North Tipperary pound last week. They will be at the adoption day to hopefully meet their new families

Competition for resources
In addition to forever homes, The Haven Rescue needs funding and volunteers. Last year the rescue rehomed 300 dogs and around 250 the year before.

“Thankfully, all of them have remained in their homes,” said Rosie.

All dogs are neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before leaving the rescue. If they are not old enough to be neutered when they are rehomed, they return to have the procedure. That is in addition to their initial medical costs and kennels before being placed with a foster family.

All of this has a cost.

Rosie says the rescue currently owes between €16,000 and €17,000 in vet bills, €2,000 in kennels and €1,000 in food.
“So there’s the bones of €20,000 to be paid,” said Rosie.

The Haven Rescue relies on donations from the public.

They say they received one government grant of €5,000 in December. But this is just doesn’t come close to covering the organisation’s running costs.

“Last year, we got €5,000, but we spent €56,000 in one vet alone between 2020 and 2021. So, it’s a drop in the ocean,” said Rosie.

Supporting The Haven
If anyone would like to support the Haven Rescue, they have a Paypal account at They will also hold a raffle at this Saturday’s adoption day.

The Haven Rescue is run by volunteers, so if you want to get involved, get in touch.

You can find The Haven Rescue on Facebook and on Instagram @thehavenrescue.

“Like every rescue in the country, we are finding it hard at the moment. But look, we are doing our best and tipping away along and trying to help as many dogs as we can, and we do have our fair share of cats, too,” said Rosie.

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