An animal welfare charity has called for a stop to be put on issuing fosterers with fines for not having a dog licence.
Cork Dog Action Welfare Group (Cork DAWG) has been fined four times since January by Cork County Council for not having a dog licence.
The charity said that it has a pack licence and that Cork County Council has decided to renege on a previous promise to respect the pack license for fosterers.
Amendments to the 1986 Control of Dogs Act state that dog packs must be kept at one premises.
On its change.org petition, a spokesperson for the charity said that Cork County Council had previously agreed with its contention that its dogs are kept on a single property, and are housed with fosterers on a temporary basis, such as when kennelling a pet while on holidays or having them at a veterinary office post-surgery where no new licence is required.
“In the case of the fine issued on January 28, a fine was issued for a dog in the foster home for 5 days total while recovering from spaying,” the spokesperson said.
“Like most animal welfare charities in this country, we operate on a shoestring budget and if we face fines each time we place a dog in foster care our work will be untenable.
“It is also impossible for us to continue if we need to pay a dog licence for every dog who passes through our care, for even a matter of days. That is over €20,000 per annum we simply do not have, leaving aside the issue of the additional time and admin required to handle this.” The spokesperson said that the charity was not attempting to “evade the law” and the amendments to the 1986 Control of Dogs Act were intended to work in conjunction with the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 to halt the rampant, widespread abuse of animals.
The charity has been assured by the Department of Rural and Community Development that a working group is looking into a formal national agreement on facilitating foster type arrangements.
Cork County Council has been contacted for comment.