We had the best time ever at the first Cork Rescue Expo at the SMA Hall, Wilton last Sunday! Big credit due to Rehoming Cork Pets and all the volunteers who organised the day – Grand Job – it was Terrific!!! If you don’t believe me, see our photos at the end of this article!
Animal Advocacy (that’s us!) shared a Trap Neuter Return (TNR) information stall with Community Cats Network (CCN, covering County Cork), Cork CAT (Cork City & surrounds) and RAWR (West Cork). We’d leaflets and information from all four of our organisations in addition to TNR publicity from Feral Cats Ireland (Ireland’s TNR networking org) and Alley Cat Allies (my gurus in the US). And for those from Kerry, we’d information from Kingdom Cat & Dog Rescue and KLAWS – both doing TNR around Kenmare and surrounds. I brought along some TNR equipment to show the mechanics of TNR, and best practice. RAWR contributed the abfab display boards (boy do I want one of them!), we’d CCN’s leaflets and spot-on information display, Ann & Ellen from Cork CAT did enthusiastic shifts on the stall – and big thanks go to Tim and Sonic for all their help too!!! Sonic was an especially fab – and popular – meeter and greeter.
I was delighted to find that many visitors already knew about TNR, and the groups involved. And anyone who didn’t know had access to plenty of information and friendly faces to find out more. Doing a collective stall was so rewarding – it’s great to see groups working together, not just to get the information out there, but also supporting each other in the work we do and sharing tips and information. It also means visitors have one point of reference to find everything they could possibly want regarding TNR in Co Cork – and beyond.
There were other rewards too! We all got to meet old friends – and make new ones. I particularly loved meeting animal friendly friends from FB in person, and putting faces to names. And all of us encountered some fabulous families who’ve adopted from us in the past – they updated us on our former charges and their new loving homes – some with pics! And that warms my heart more than most everything. Srsly.
But there was much, much more to the event than our TNR stall. Most of the organisations involved in animal welfare in Co Cork were there – I’ve already mentioned our hosts, Rehoming Cork Pets
; West Cork Animal Welfare Group
(who also provide TNR services) and Munster Lost & Found
were right next door to us; Animal Care Society just across the aisle, alongside Vincent from the CSPCA
And there was More!!! The Cork Cat Club
had loads of information on cat welfare, their cat show in September and loads more, including a fabulous smile! There was an amazing range of companion products from Pet Greets
and Burns Dog Foods
. AA Agility
were there with a fantabulous agility range to keep the pooches (and kids) occupied during the afternoon. Symphoto
provided photo shoots for companions who visited – they take photos for a number of rescues to help their companions find homes. And, one of my personal favourites, Michael Powell Solicitors
were there offering services in exchange for €50 donation to rescues – what a great way to contribute to the cause!
These latter two organisations are a shining example of how everyone can help animal welfare organisations with their own particular skills. Wish there were more like them!!!
The number of first class raffle and tombola prizes were just amazing – I won a very good quality jacket that’s going to be perfect for the outdoors work of TNR! And trollies piled high with donated food were waiting for their rescues to pick up. The cakes available in the cafe were simply ToDieFor. And, at the end of the day, I was blown away by the whole event – the organisation, the generosity, the variety, the interest from the general public, the information and products available. When people work together, it’s amazing what can be achieved for the animals.
Best of all was the interested public, who came in droves – two-, three- and four-legged! My heart was filled by the number of people who care.
Here’s hoping the event will be repeated next year – one of the most inspiring events I’ve been to, bringing the rescues and the general public together to benefit the animals in a fun-filled, informative and extremely successful day.
Thank You Everyone!!!