East Antrim shelter expects influx of unwanted dogs

Two-year-old collie Ben. INCT 01-403-RM
Two-year-old collie Ben. INCT 01-403-RM

An East Antrim animal shelter is preparing for an increase in unwanted dogs after Christmas as some owners fail to take responsibility for pets.

Animal Ark takes in abandoned and stray pooches from the Larne, Carrick and Newtownabbey areas, and will urgently be seeking new homes for the animals it rescues.

The shelter is currently looking after five furry friends, including 12-year-old collie Ben (pictured), but Animal Ark’s Karen McIllroy fears that figure will soar in the coming weeks as some people seek to get rid of dogs they may have received as Christmas gifts.

“Most of the dogs we have at the moment were found as strays, but a few weeks into the new year we usually find more dogs being abandoned as some people decide they cannot cope with looking after them,” Karen added.

“We have several breeds of dogs that currently need re-homed, including a schnauzer, a German shepherd, and two collies. We also have a nine-year-old rottweiler-cross called Rocky, who was given to us as an unwanted pet on Christmas Eve.

“All the dogs are good natured and in good health, but can get a bit distressed if they are kept in the kennels for too long. I would urge anyone interested in giving any of these animals a good home to get in touch or come and see us ASAP.”

Animal Ark is located at 60 Paisley Road, and you can contact the shelter on 028 9344 3168. Meanwhile, dog owners are urged to make sure they have some kind of identification so council staff can identify them. The council also recommends that pets should be microchipped.