..and then an Angel came to PAWS

3rd August 2015

Last week, on the 23rd of July, PAWS Animal Rescue received a phone call from the local Carlow / Kilkenny dog warden.  A young, very pretty, but very scared lurcher girl had been found on the road in Kilkenny.  Dumped or let stray as no longer useful, it was the very familiar story that is etched on the many little lurcher faces that we come into contact with as an Irish rescue.  However, there was something a little different about this lurcher girl.  The warden had phoned PAWS almost immediately as he was so concerned for this little, lost girl, he feared for her mental state if she had to stay in the pound.

So she made the short journey from the pound to PAWS.   Sadly, she had the usual look of mistreatment that many lurchers carry when they first arrive in PAWS, she was bony and underweight, she had mange and was covered in filth but it was her behaviour that caused the most concern.  As soon as arrived, she found the nearest corner and buried her face against the wall and wouldn’t move.  It was clear that whatever had happened to her in her short lived life, had so badly traumatised her, she couldn’t even bare to move or look at her surroundings.  Some dogs, when they first arrive in PAWS, almost get the sense that they are finally in safe hands.  Often, after a meal, they relax and go straight to sleep, cuddle into the PAWS staff or offer a few ‘face-licks’ of thanks to their rescuers.  But, for this little lurcher girl, it was evident that all she wanted to do was disappear.  A video of her first few minutes in PAWS was shared on the PAWS facebook page and, immediately, took off on a cyber journey around Ireland.  Within hours, thousands of people had viewed it, shared it and offered their words of simpathy for this poor little girl and disgust at whoever had done this to her.  If, for whatever reason, you missed the video, you’ll find it here..

The little lurcher was christened Angel as that was what she was, a fallen angel in need of a helping hand.  In the week after she was found, a second lurcher was picked up, not far from where Angel was found, and also brought to PAWS.  Thankfully, this little lurcher boy wasn’t as traumatised, although his body state and his ailments were similar to Angel’s, he didn’t share too much of her fear.  It was immediately clear by the way the two dogs greeted each other that they had both come from the same place and were more than likely brother and sister as their colouring and age were so similar.  Often, it is common for mistreated lurcher females to have been treated worse than their male counterparts as males are seen as more valuable.  Angel immediately welcomed her brother, now called Cliff, and clung beside him, either staying cuddled up in her bed or only going where he would go.  Thankfully, he liked to walk up and greet us and showed Angel that it’s okay to trust some people.  She stayed weary and would jump at sudden sounds, but in the following couple of weeks after her rescue, Angel very slowly started to come out of her shell.  She would try to follow Cliff out of their bed when he was coming up to us for cuddles and pets but it was still so clear she was just too scared and traumatized to trust people yet.  It was another month before she plucked up her courage to approach anyone.

As Angel was settling into PAWS and getting used to the wonderful feeling of being rescued, something incredible was happening, the heart-wrenching video taken of her first few moments in PAWS was being viewed in its thousands and attracting loads of attention by the online, social and broadcast media alike.  Online publications such as Buzzfeed and TheJournal were publishing articles and Gina was asked to do an interview on Today FM.  Angel’s broken soul was breaking hearts all over Ireland and afar.  People were rallying together to offer support, donations towards her recovery and even some care-packages were sent especially for sweet Angel and her brother.

There was even an increased number of visitors to the shelter this August bank holiday weekend asking about Angel, offering help where they could and a few dogs even got booked for homes, pending home-checks, among them was a lurcher that has been waiting to be adopted for months.  If you previously have read up about lurchers or greyhounds, you will already know how uncommon it is for them to find homes in Ireland.  There is a long road of recovery ahead of Angel until she is ready to find a home of her own and an even longer road until the frequent influx of mistreated and dumped lurchers arriving in pounds and rescue shelters is a thing of the past in Ireland but with the continued support from the public and our followers alike, we can get just a little bit closer.  If you would like to donate to paws, go to paws.ie/donate or paws.ie/paypal


Update: After some months, Angel was ready to find a home of her own.  Michael and Theresa McGrath, a very lovely couple and long-term supporters of PAWS Animal Rescue, had contacted us saying they had a space on their couch for a companion for their rescue greyhound, Jaego, and wondered if they could meet Angel.   They took a journey to PAWS on a sunny Saturday afternoon to meet a little angel in need of a loving home.  It was love at first sight for Jaego, but Angel was a little unsure and had spent a few seconds resorting to old habits hiding in the corner of the run.  However, once she realised that she was in the company of good people and after a game of  chase with Jaego, she soon relaxed.  Angel, now called Cara, had found her forever home.


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