ONE of the oldest animal welfare groups in Ireland – which faced possible extinction only three months ago – has now raised an incredible 60% of their estimated €300,000 rescue target.
And they still have an estimated 21 months in which to complete this, having raised the €180,000 in just the last 12 months.
The Kildare and West Wicklow Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals KWWSPCA) was founded in 1940 as the Kildare Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and had the ‘WW’ added a few years later.
Last May Kildare Co Council refused the charity planning permission to remain at its present location, the reason given being the restricted sightlines when exiting the Shelter in Oldtown, Athgarvan – just over the motorway bridge from Newbridge Rugby Club.
“The society appealed the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanala (ABP) at the end of June and asked to be allowed to remain for another two years to give us time to find and move to an alternative location,” said Sally McCaffrey from the KWWSPCA.
This reprieve from ABP arrived at the end of October, giving the 80-year-old charity some breathing space, however they had already been given notice by their landlord that he was thinking of selling the property, thereby lighting a second fire beneath fundament.
“This time last year, the KWWSPCA shelter was in a very serious situation and[though] the property may not now have to be sold in the near future, it is inevitable that a new shelter will have to be found within the next two years,” said Ms McCaffery.
“A major fund raising campaign was launched this time last year, and we are delighted that just over €180,000 of the target of €300,000 has already been raised.
“Our thanks go to all our supporters who have been so generous with their donations and with their fund-raising activities on our behalf. There is still a long way to go, but we are very hopeful that our target will be reached,” she added.
The charity is also appealing to anyone in the county who might know of a suitable premises – ideally, a former kennels or stables with about four or five acres, and good vehicular access – however, they are advising that such a site be away from houses “so there’d be no issues relating to noise”.
“We also need the help of architects, surveyors, public relations experts, builders and anyone else who could assist in making a new shelter possible,” she appealed.
Their first fund-raising event this year will be a Monster Book Sale this Friday and Saturday (14-15 February) from 11am til 5pm in the Town Hall and Heritage Centre in Kilcullen.
The KWWSPCA can also be supported by shopping in the Noah’s Ark Store in Newbridge, where 80% of the money taken goes directly to the charity, or by donating directly to them at account name: KWWSPCA, Ulster Bank, Naas, Co. Kildare, IBAN number: IE28ULSB98619010280147 BIC code: ULSBIE2D