Rescue Rainbow Bridge Poem


Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before.  But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn’t long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.

He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again. As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross  over, the happier he would be.

But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren’t playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn’t understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for a while to explain it to him.

You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge.

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, “So what will happen now?” As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.

“Watch, and see” said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed him towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

“What happened?”

“That was a rescuer.” The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of his work.  They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn’t place on earth, across The Rainbow Bridge.

“I think I like rescuers,” said the first animal.

“So does GOD,” was the reply.


A post about flea treatments making cats sick (sometimes resulting in death) has been circulating the internet and Facebook  for the past couple of months. One recent posting told the story of Smidge, the kitten,  who died hours after his owners gave him of the shelf  (supermarket bought) flea treatment.

Cork ACS has investigated as to if there could be any truth to this information and were informed by our specialised vets that there is indeed a real and major risk and that owners need to be responsible and make sure that they only use cat/kitten treatment on cats.

Treatments intended for dogs or puppies may contain a harmful ingredient called permethrin. This can cause serious illness and death in cats and should NEVER be used.

Off the shelf treatments can be found in many supermarkets, Pet shops  and discount shops across the country and it is often tempting to purchase a treatment that only costs a couple of euro instead of visiting your vet but owners can easily choose an inappropriate treatment and there are no trained personnel to advise them otherwise. Cat and dog treatments are often stored close to each other so it is quite easy to make a mistake.

These products, if inappropriately used, are a false economy and sadly in the case of Smidge the kitten it proved to be a fatal mistake by the kittens owners for which the kitten paid the price with its life.

If you have accidentally used the wrong treatment on your cat/kitten keep an eye out for signs of toxicity including generalized tremours, muscle fasciculations and seizures. If in doubt visit your vet IMMEDIATELY. The signs can take several hours to develop and can take as long as 48 hrs.

We urge our readers to buy their flea and worm treatments from their Vets and not of the shelf, Yes, it might be a bit more expensive that way but isn’t your pets life worth those few extra euro’s?

For more information we suggest that you visit the ASPCA Poison Control Website page. Here is the link:

SUCCESS STORIES – Happy Birthday Molly!

We just received this a few minutes ago from Molly’s Mum, who incidentally is a gifted photographer. Molly was the 16 year old “kitten” found at the breast cancer clinic in Cork. We had her moved to Clare  at the Cat Hospital and told her to do all possible to save her. A year ago this happened… and today rejoice with us for a life preserved.

Dear Clare, Albert & Belinda,

Today one year ago, I collected Molly from the Cat Hospital. Time passes so quickly! As you can see from the photos Molly is doing reasonably well and is enjoying her life. She is still quite active given her age and loves playing with her toy mouse  – She occasionally even catches a real one.

Thanks to Belinda for picking her up and bringing her to the Cat Hospital, thanks to Clare and her team for doing such a fantastic job in getting her back to health and thanks to the ACS who made sure she got all the necessary treatment!

So Happy Birthday dear Molly!
All the best,


Two important demonstrations

Monday 27th of February 2012, 12pm, Carrigaline: ARAN Demonstration against fur farming in Ireland.

***URGENT DEMONSTRATION NOTICE***: A decision on the future of Irish fur farms will be made very soon. ARAN has requested a meeting with the Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, at his Cork constituency office but this was declined. As all our supporters know, we’re running a smashing campaign to shut down Irish fur farms and we need to ensure we work up until the final hour when the decision is a…ctually made. TAKE ACTION: Don’t miss ARAN’s peaceful demonstration outside the Cork constituency office of, Minister Simon Coveney, on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 12noon sharp until 2.30pm. At this stage we’ve done our best, but we’re not giving up, we need you to be there, not for us, but for the many tens of thousands of lives caged on cruel fur farms waiting to be gassed, painfully skinned and electrocuted. If possible, please share this event notice and encourage family and friends to attend too, we’re going to ensure his office hears the animals’ plight loud and clear. Please be sure to RSVP at or PM via Facebook. Thank you for all that you’re doing to help animals, ARAN.
Visit the Ban Fur Farming in Ireland website or the Facebook page for more information.
Monday 5th of March 2012, 12pm, Dublin: 2nd Forgotten Feline Protest:
2nd Forgotten Felines Protest is being held outside Leinster House, Dublin on Monday, 5th March 2012 from 12.30-2.30pm to:
1) demand cats are no longer classed as vermin.
2) demand inclusion of cats and their welfare, safety and wellbeing in the forthcoming Animal Welfare Bill.
3) demand legislation to protect them from cruelty.
4) demand funds for a free comprehensive trap/neuter/return programme for feral cats in Ireland.
5) highlight the neglect and indifference towards cats in Ireland.
Visit the Feral Cats Ireland page for more information.
Don’t forget to sign the petition to support this protest.

World Animal Week in images

This week we were celebrating World Animal Week.  We had a few events planned; however, as always with animal welfare, you cannot plan and our week took on an unexpected turn; not necessarily for the best.

On Sunday evening, Rita from the sanctuary had to be rushed to Riverview Vet where she was put on a drip.

Rita at the vet's

On Monday, after looking for an hour for two sick cats we never found, we started the Ballycotton TNR project.  We trapped four cats (one female and three males) who were neutered by Sinead at the Cloyne Veterinary Clinic and returned the following day.

Ballycotton TNR

Ballycotton TNR

On Monday evening, we tackled putting together the second issue of Furry Tales and Meowsings.  We never got a chance to tell you about it, but I have a surprise for you and will tell you more later.  Distribution has started and the booklet should be available in the usual places next week.

Facing the pile

2nd issue of Furry Tales and Meowsings

Meanwhile, we also had to find a fosterer for Carlo, a cat victim of a road traffic accident who was brought to The Cat Hospital the previous week.  We thought Carlo would become blind, but he regained his sight.  However, he has forgotten how to eat.  Fortunately, a good soul offered him love and time to reeducate him.

Carlo in the arms of Clare Meade

On Tuesday, Anne and Zdenka went to the rescue of a dog who was found in an appalling condition.  Angel has since been treated at Riverview Vet Clinic in Bandon, where she will remain for at least two weeks.


I don’t have any photo for Wednesday.  Let’s just say that it was enquiry day.  The amount of lost and found animals reported that day was alarming.  Moreover, there were a few cat enquiries.  We would love to be able to take them all in, but how can we?

On Thursday, we had a fundraising gig in Mr Bradley’s.  Although it was quieter than we had hoped, we still manage to raise €285 and we all had a good night!

Kate Kirwan

1st prize winner

Friday was devoted to the first photo shoot by Diane Cusack (Strike a Paws) for the Christmas cards.  I also worked on the Christmas party tickets and they are now on sale (more information to follow).

Leo, the poser (photo by Diane Cusack)

Saturday, we had an information table in Maxi Zoo Ballincollig.  It was a great day, but some cat issues needed to be sorted at the same time.

Some of our volunteers at the Maxi Zoo table

I came back home with Mishka, a little kitten rescued the previous day.


As I turned on the computer, I discovered an email regarding a two-week old kitten and the search for kitten formula began.   Thankfully, Facebook proved to be very helpful and the matter was resolved quickly.  Katrina, who had found Minka, also offered to foster the kitten, which was a huge relief.  You can read about her experience here and here.

Minka, now called Mika

It seems that I am missing an important photo.  I’ve been told about a new arrival at the sanctuary: a baby pot-bellied pig!

As you can see we were busy and you might understand why we sometimes sound tired and grumpy…

We don’t know what next week has in store for us, but what we’re certsin of is that we will be preparing for National Feral Cat Awareness Week, which starts next Saturday.  We will be raising awareness about the feral cat situation in \ieland, but also carry a few TNR projects.  One of our priorities are Jennifers’s cats and we would appreciate if you could show your support to this thirteen year old who has decided to make a difference in the cat world.  If you would like more information about this very special week, do not hesitate to contact us.  We might even bring a few interested people with us on our outings!

Sign the petition!

Lorcan when he was rescued (photo courtesy of his Facebook page)

No, this is not an ACS kitten.  This is Lorcan, the blind kitten.  If you live in Ireland, you might have heard about him already as he has his own Facebook page and also appeared in the newspaper.

Lorcan was rescued on the 21st of July with a severe eye infection, so bad that his eyes could not be saved.  There are many kittens like Lorcan who suffer from carelessness and cruelty, so many that animal welfare charities find it difficult to actually cope with the situation.  There are not enough good homes to welcome all the kittens who are born every year.  As long as people do not become more responsible regarding the neutering of cats and as long as the legislation regarding animal cruelty does not change, this situation will remain the same.

But, maybe if we decide to act together we can get things to change?

Lorcan settling in after his operation (photo courtesy of the Lorcan Facebook Page)

Lorcan was lucky, he was rescued and offered a new life, which he can enjoy despite being blind.  He has also become the symbol of a very important campaign for the right of animals to live a happy life and that concerns all animal rescues.  Many animal welfare charities, including the Cork Animal Society, have been fighting for the rights of animals, but today, the public is also given the opportunity to support this campaign by signing a petition.  The request in this petition is simple: a change of legislation (one that dates from 1911) and more funds being made available for cat welfare.

So far, only 622 people have signed the petition; a strange figure considering that 807 people have liked the link on Facebook.  This is not enough, we can do better than that.  So please, if you are even the slightest bit concerned by the welfare of animals in Ireland (whether you live here or not), sign this petition and show that together we can be stronger!

A man and his rabbit

John Byrne with his dog and rabbit (Photo copyright by the Evening Herald, use gratefully acknowledged)

A little while ago, a story touched the hearts of Irish people.  A well-known and appreciated homeless in Dublin had to jump in the Liffey river to rescue his rabbit companion.  His rabbit had been thrown over the bridge by a 19-year-old.  Why would anybody do that?  Sometimes I just cannot understand people.  This is just plainly cruel and this story made me shed a few tears.

You can see in this video John Byrne with his rabbit waiting to be rescued and brought back on firm ground.

John Byrne received an well-deserved award for his bravery from the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), an organisation that constantly fights for the rights of animals in Ireland and in the world (read their article).

I was relieved to hear a few days later that the 19-year-old was charged for his action.  It is a small consolation to see justice being made.  However, this should never have happened.  How can you call yourself human when you hurt the creatures of the earth?

The fact that justice was made is a small step in the right direction, but a lot more needs to be done.  We need to raise awareness and help the defenceless.  This is what we, at the Animal Care Society, fight for alongside other associations, such as ARAN.

Please, think about; it is your choice.