Animal Awareness Day At Coláiste Muire
Writes Sinéad McMahon
I am Sinéad McMahon, a Transition Year student at Coláiste Muire, Crosshaven. I recently co-ordinated a fundraising campaign in aid of Munster Lost and Found Pet Helpline and Shelter.
Based in Ballinhassig, the non–profit charity aims to reunite lost pets with their families and rescue, shelter and re-home stray animals. I started volunteering with the local organisation at the age of twelve and I held my first fundraiser in support of Munster Lost and Found in 2014. I later adopted my beloved dog, Ollie, from their emergency shelter. Ollie was rescued from abuse and homelessness in North Cork. Ollie’s quality of life was improved by the tireless work of generous volunteers such as Lindsay Kelly, the co-founder of Munster Lost and Found.
Ollie is now thoroughly content with his circumstances and he brings tremendous joy in to our daily lives. There are many other dogs, like Ollie, that have been rescued and re-homed by Munster Lost and Found. Their vital service of helping lost pets find their way home has also affected many families. With the help of a number of Transition Year students and staff of Coláiste Muire, we created a project that would raise awareness of animal care in our community and support Munster Lost and Found in continuing its tremendous work.
On the 27th of February, an Animal Photography Competition was launched within the school. Each entrant submitted a photo of their pet, or of a different animal, and donated €2 to Munster Lost and Found. The response to the initiative was overwhelmingly positive and an exhibition of forty unique photographs of dogs, cats, horses, deer and toads was held in the library.
On the 16th of March, Lindsay Kelly, Eileen Farrell and Angela, representatives from the local organisation, brought three gorgeous puppies into the school. From 1pm –1.40pm, students were invited into the library to pet Bobby, Bessie and Max and to view the awareness raising exhibition. Entry into the event was €2 and each person received a knitted chick containing a chocolate egg. Excited queues formed outside the library to meet the rescue dogs who ensured that the event was delightful and successful.
The winners of the competition were announced during the event.
First place was given to Rachel Cotter’s “Shelly,” second place to Darian O’Shea’s “Bitsy” and third place to Cathal Ó Rónáin’s “Riley”. Grace O’Mahony’s “Ruby” won Highly Commended. The winners received prizes that were kindly sponsored by Pet Essentials, Lynch’s Centra Crosshaven, Grumpy and Wise and the Rivers End Cafe. We raised €371 and the proceeds were donated in the form of a cheque to Munster Lost and Found on the 12th of May.
I would like to thank everyone who generously assisted me with this project, including the staff and students of Coláiste Muire, the volunteers at Munster Lost and Found, the sponsors of the competition prizes and all who supported the event. The support that I received was exceptional.