ANIMAL PROTECTION groups throughout Ireland have been horrified at the recent attack on a 67 year old animal rescuer in response to her rescuing of two dogs that were left abandoned and homeless on the streets of Kerry.
Mrs Tessa DeLacy, a pensioner, has long been actively involved in the rescuing of homeless and abandoned animals and has dedicated her life to educating children and adults of the need to show compassion to animals.
Mrs DeLacy, 67 lives just outside Tralee in County Kerry with her 35 year-old autistic son. She rescues cats and dogs from all over the county and is given a government-funded grant each year to do carry out her work. She is a very well known, liked and much respected lady both locally and in the wider animal rescue community, so the attack that took place in her own home has sent shockwaves throughout the country.
While in Tralee town centre on Tuesday 25 April, Mrs DeLacy saw two Jack Russell-type dogs running frantically through the town in a totally dazed and confused state, running in and out of shops and running into the road. She had seen this happen quite often, due to people throwing their dogs out of the car when they've had enough of them, and she always took the dogs home to feed them, bath them, vaccinate them and find them a loving home, normally in England. She managed to capture the two dogs and took them home with her to look after them.
That same evening, four powerfully-built men, believed to be travellers, broke into her house while she was at home with her son, and started shouting at her and pushing her around, demanding to know where the two dogs were, as they claimed that they were theirs. They grabbed the two dogs that she had
rescued by the back legs and threw them into their car, and then one of the men pointed at Mrs DeLacy’s own rescued dogs and shouted: ‘Grab as many dogs as you can,’ at which point Mrs. DeLacy held onto the kitchen door handle to prevent the men from entering the kitchen where her dogs were kept and screamed at the men saying that she was going to call the Gardai. At this point one of the men pushed her so hard that she fell over, injuring her shoulder.
The men left, but thankfully did not take any of Mrs DeLacy’s own dogs.
Mrs DeLacy has 12 rescue dogs, most of which are too old or ill to be re-homed, so she simply aims to give them a good quality of life in their final years. Mrs DeLacy is now in fear for her life and those of her dogs as the thugs' parting words to her were ‘we'll be back’.
Mrs DeLacy’s daughter Catherine Smith was outraged at the attack on her elderly mother and told the local press: ‘This points out what we have been saying for a long time; if people are cruel to animals it’s inevitable that they’ll turn on humans too, whether they be adults or, indeed, children. Animal and human abuse is connected.’