Saturday 20 Feb 2021


The Irish Blue Cross temporarily suspends taking on new clients

The Irish Blue Cross has had to take the difficult decision to temporarily suspend taking on new clients.

The charities resources and services are already extremely stretched due to Covid19, and we are working around the clock to treat the near 40,000 (39,202) patients already on our files.

There has been a huge upsurge in demand for our charitable services as a result of the current pandemic, with more and more people taking on new pets. Pre Covid, the we were averaging a call every 6 minutes, now that has jumped to one every 3 minutes.

The Irish Blue Cross urges people to think carefully before they bring a new pet into the family home, and to consider the huge personal and financial responsibility that caring for an animal involves.

Head of Veterinary Services, Úna O’Toole said; “In light of the huge increase in calls we are getting from new pet owners, the likes of which has superseded even our yearly Christmas new puppy calls, I have genuine concerns that we may see an increase in the numbers of pets being abandoned in the coming months as people return to work and as people’s lives change. We would strongly urge any prospective new pet owners to make sure to consider all the implications of adding a furry friend to their family and to consider the financial commitment involved in having a pet. If you are in a position to take on a new pet we have some helpful tips on our website with regards to choosing the right pet for you and your family as well as how to prepare for the arrival of your new pet. I would always urge new pet owners to adopt or rescue a pet that needs a good home.”

Christina Conneely, CEO added; “Our Inchicore clinical team have never worked so hard and are overcome with more requests than they can cope with. Unfortunately, we are unable to take on any new clients at the moment and are focusing on pets that are currently patients of our clinics. This is because we do not have the capacity to handle greater numbers.  Our teams are closely adhering to HSE Guidelines and our inhouse Covid-19 protocols are adding more time to veterinary consultations and generally to the teams’ work.  This is unavoidable but we are hoping that everyone, including our staff and our services come through this very difficult and challenging time without being impacted in any severe way by the virus.  We would ask anyone with a new pet to make sure you contact your nearest vet when health issues arise.

The Irish Blue Cross is seeking the public’s patience and understanding during this difficult time, and we hope to return to taking on new clients in the very near future.

Advice on considering a pet, can be found here.

You can listen to our head of vetereniary services, Úna O’Toole discuss this issue on RTÉ radio’s Drivetime;