The story of the Bright Eyes Animal Sanctuary is basically the story of Pat Nolan. He arrange the sanctuary in 1989, however earlier than that, he was already rescuing and caring for animals. From a council home in Enniskillen, with individuals complaining about all of the cats, and folks calling him names, he constructed it up and have become very revered in the group.
Pat’s imaginative and prescient was that animals have the best to reside and to reside free of struggling and hardship. It all began for Pat when somebody introduced him a kitten known as Dinky and he taken care of it, after which individuals began bringing him extra animals. Then he rented a cottage in the nation the place it was higher to supply a sanctuary for canines and cats and he acquired charitable standing.
People began taking a look at him otherwise and realising what an incredible particular person he was; a really humane particular person.
He was awarded the International Fund for Animal Welfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Pat died in 2013 however every part we do with the Bright Eyes Animal Shelter is his legacy.
He type of uncared for himself for the animals. He had the semi-derelict cottage for the animals to reside in and an previous caravan for himself.
Then, in the mid-Nineties, he acquired a mortgage on the cottage and he began getting extra volunteers concerned. When he died, the mortgage was paid off and the working of the sanctuary was handed to the trustees. I’m a trustee and the chairperson of the belief and, between us, we’ve saved Pat’s work going.
I first met Pat once I moved to Fermanagh in the early Nineties and I acquired a little canine from him. He was a one-man band then. I helped him from then on. He couldn’t drive and typically went round on his bike carrying canines and cats. So I’d be one of the individuals who began by giving him lifts, after which, earlier than I knew it, I used to be half of a bunch of volunteers that grew up round him.
We rescue canines and cats, and rehabilitate them; rehome them. We’re fortunate to have lots of new, younger volunteers for the reason that pandemic, however there are additionally much more animals who want us.
We’re getting lots of two-year-old canines now from when individuals acquired them in the primary lockdown. They have lots of points that we wouldn’t have seen earlier than, like they’ve been refrained from different canines a lot that they don’t seem to be correctly socialised. Also, individuals acquired pups that they didn’t know the right way to take care of or practice.
We additionally take canines from the native pound after they’ve been there 5 days and our goal is to rehome them. We run a strictly no-kill coverage. If an animal must be put to sleep, there must be a extremely good purpose for it. That they’re actually previous, or with no high quality of life, or sick or simply unimaginable to rehome. We are very upset each time.
With rescue kittens, we neuter them and rehome them. This is harder with feral cats, however it’s attainable. If you’re taking sufficient time to work on calming them, they will discover properties.
We have a colony of feral cats right here, which is uncommon. We’ve simply constructed them a brand new sanctuary. They reside an excellent life, with contemporary water and meals and an insulated shed. They come down in search of their deal with in the morning in case you’re late with it, however they reside their very own life. Some turn into pleasant sufficient, or typically a farmer will take one.
All our animals get a vet verify. Our vet invoice is about €1,000 to €2,000 a month. We do our greatest for each animal, which might be why prices are so excessive. When you turn into an animal volunteer, you turn into an expert beggar, however individuals are so good.
I don’t understand how I acquired in so deep with this. It occurred steadily, from avenue collections up. I simply retired as a trauma nurse after 47 years however I’ve at all times beloved animals. I’d beg, borrow or steal for these animals, and I’m doing it for Pat.
Bright Eyes Animal Sanctuary has been rescuing canines and cats since 1989. It operates a no-kill coverage and practises spaying and neutering as a substitute. For particulars on its rehoming coverage and extra data, see its Facebook web page, or Instagram: @brighteyesanimalsanctuary
In dialog with Sarah Caden