Cavan SPCA member Marion O'Brien, shop helper Bernie McEvoy and Cavan SPCA member Kathleen Shannon.

New charity shop for Cavan SPCA

Cavan’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has opened a pop-up-shop in west Cavan to raise money to support their animal rescue shelter, writes Michelle Taite.

The shop, which opened on August 1 at 2 Railway Street, Belturbet, has been going steady so far, says Kathleen Shannon, a volunteer for the Cavan SPCA. “We opened last week and it’s been ticking over since with people coming in and out every day.”

The idea came as a result of another shop they used to have in Cavan Town. “We're taking over a shop temporarily in Belturbet to see how it goes, for maybe a month or so. We used to have a shop on Thomas Ashe Street in Cavan, which really helped fund the organisation. However, it has since been taken over by someone else and the money goes to a different charity."

The volunteer is now encouraging the people of Cavan and beyond to support the cause in any way they can.

“It’s a very worthy charity. We have about nine or 10 volunteers in total in the organisation so we are looking for animal lovers who might do a couple of shifts for us during the week. We’re also looking for donations of good quality clothes and furniture.”

With the cost of living crisis in Ireland worsening, Kathleen believes shopping in second hand shops will be of huge benefit to many.

“People would be glad of it, especially with the way the economy is going. It's a great opportunity for anyone who would be doing up their flats for renting out. They don’t want to be spending big money on furniture so this is a great alternative for them. They will be on sale for a very reasonable price.”

Cavan SPCA have already received some fantastic items, which are on display in the new shop.

“There’s good quality clothes and even uniforms coming in. We will have pictures of all our furniture, which will be put up in our window. If anyone shows an interest in it, we can allow them to see it and deliver it for them."

Kathleen is hopeful that sufficient money will be raised to cater for the growing number of animals in their care. “There’s been a big increase, especially with cats. There was a mad time during Covid when everyone was buying cats and dogs, then when the lockdown ended and people returned to work, they didn’t know what to do with these animals so surrendered them or just let them out of the house. People ring in every week to say they have found litters of pups or kittens, which were just let out.”

Cavan SPCA is always appealing to people to adopt a rescue pet. “It’s our job to find new homes for the animals which have been left in, which isn’t easy let me tell you. There are so many - no one has to go looking for a cat.”

The increase of stray animals has put strain on the organisation, which was already under pressure financially. “We do get a grant but it doesn’t cover half of what we pay out in veterinary bills and other things such as cat neutering and animal food."

All the money raised goes straight to the animals in Cavan, it doesn’t leave the county.

"We are all volunteers, we don’t make anything out of it, we drive our own cars and use our own phones to make calls."