Animal welfare services throughout Tipperary have been thrown a lifeline by way of government funding.
€82,000 has been awarded to eight Tipperary Animal welfare groups by the Department of Agriculture.
PAWS Animal Rescue in Mullinahone has received the largest allocation of €28,000.
Other groups to benefit include Cottage Rescue in Cashel, Great Hounds in Need in Kilcash, South Tipperary Dog Rescue, Tipperary South SPCA and Tipperary Friends of Animals SPCA, Roscrea SPCA and Mo Chara Animal Rescue in Thurles.
Gina Hetherington of PAWS in Mullinahone described the funding as a ‘godsend’ which kept them open.
“Without this funding we would be closed” she said.
PAWS has operated in Mullinahone since 2000 and has been paid the grant every year.
“It goes up and down every year and it is always left to the end of the year before we get it. We received it on December 24 this year and most of it has been used to pay off outstanding bills,” said Ms Hetherington.
“The vets were owed €14,000 and only waited for the money because it was us. Money was owed to suppliers and without it we would not survive,” she said.
She thanked Minister of State Tom Hayes for his involvement in the funding and said he was well aware of the amount of work being carried out by PAWS
On Monday morning four dogs found in a bog in Killenaule were brought to Mullinahone in a poor condition. It brought the total number of dogs in Mullinahone to 88. They also look after four donkeys at the centre.
“We were very busy leading up to Christmas. Before we would have been busier after Christmas dealing with unwanted pets but it seems to have reversed and people seem to be abandoning pets in November and early December to make room for Christmas,” she said.