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Christmas is a time for fun, having people round and lots of festive treats.  However, it is also a time we have to be extra mindful of things that our dogs may get into which they wouldn’t usually have access to.  They might find the extra bits and pieces which can be left lying around like the selection box under the tree or the roast placed a little too closely to the kitchen counter’s ledge, super tasty but most Christmas food can be dangerous for dogs to ingest and might cause stomach upset, digestive problems, poisoning or even death. It is our responsibility to keep our dogs safe and healthy so below is a compiled list of things that are dangerous for dogs to eat.  That being said, that doesn’t mean our dogs can’t join in on some of the festivities and even enjoy a special treat too, which is why we have also included some pooch-safe Christmas treats.  Feel free to print off and enjoy!

Foods dangereous to your dog:

Mince pies, Christmas pudding and fruit cake
Apart from being full of dangerous fat, these festive treats contain dried fruits (such as raisins), spices and sometimes alcohol.

Stuffing and Gravy
A mixture of breadcrumbs with onions, spices, herbs and large quantities of salt and therefore best avoided as all these things can cause stomach upset.

This may seem an obvious, but a very important one on the list.  Chocolate poses a very dangerous risk to your dog.  You may feel confident in knowing this one but remember that among all the hustle and bustle, one or two things may slip past you unknowingly.  A tin of roses a guest has left down beside the couch or a selection box wrapped under the tree are all things to look out for!  Even in small amounts, chocolate can be a big danger to dogs so be sure to keep it out of their reach at all times.

Turkey skin, chicken skin and bird bones

While the skin is far too fatty for dogs and can cause digestive inflammation, bones can be just as risky as they can splinter and cause choking or other digestive problems.

Human deserts and sweets
These are way too sugary or if they are sugar-free they contain artificial sweeteners. The sweetener Xylitol is very dangerous to dogs and sugar is bad for your dog’s waistline and teeth.

Fruit pips and stones

While the flesh of some fruit can be okay for dogs, the pips and stones may cause intestinal blockage.

Some Nuts and Seeds

Same goes for macadamias and walnuts, however, small quantities of cashews and almonds are safe to be enjoyed.

Pigs in Blankets and other pork products

A sneaky one to watch for with guests.  These are far too salty and fatty and may cause intestinal discomfort.

Grapes, raisins, currants, sultanas
These are fatal to dogs, even in small amounts. Seek veterinary help immediately if your dog eats these foods. Some dogs can cope with eating a few but many cannot and you have no idea which way your dog may react so don’t risk it at all.

Onions, garlic and other bulb vegetables (e.g. chives, leeks, shallots)
Onions are a definite no as they are poisonous to dogs. This includes any variant such as onion powder. Also avoid feeding your dog other bulb vegetables e.g. chives, leeks and shallots. Garlic is a contentious issue and while a little bit of garlic is not toxic to your dog it can have a dangerous cumulative effect.

Other dog Christmas food tips

  • No booze or caffeine – clear cups and glasses away and put all coffee and alcohol out of reach of your dog.
  • Keep pets out of the busy kitchen to prevent accidents.
  • Don’t over feed your dog – with dog food/treats or with human food/treats.
  • Dispose carefully of wrappers, human food and especially bones.
  • Take the rubbish out and whether the rubbish bags are inside or out secure them so they can’t be broken into. Dispose of leftovers, especially the bird carcass, carefully.
  • Ask all visitors not to feed your pet anything. It is easier than trying to get everyone to follow the food rules above and if everyone gives your pet tit bits it will soon add up to a lot of extra food.

That being said, now onto the tasty and safe treats pets can enjoy with the family.  It’s safe to say dogs will love a bowl of their own Christmas dinner but it’s important to remember that moderation is key as any uncommon food can cause stomach upset so the following can be enjoyed by your dog in very small amounts – no one likes being bloated on Christmas day!

While sitting down to your Christmas lunch, make your dog a plate of his own with skinless boneless turkey meat, some mixed veg (carrots, peas, green beans, courgette, parsnip all cooked without salt) but no onions, leeks or bulb veg.  Other foods your dog can safely enjoy are some fruit like bananas or raw apple slices, eggs – scrambled is best and even natural cranberry sauce (small amount with no other sugars or other preservatives.)

Another tip is to check out the pet shops at this time of year as they will also have a range of safe doggy treats available to keep him busy chewing on while the presents are being opened Christmas morning!  If you like, you can even pick some up and drop them out to PAWS for our shelter dogs to enjoy on the big day.  Enjoy the festivities and Happy Christmas!

Disclaimer: PAWS assumes no liability or responsibility for the content or ingredients listed in this article, please seek vet advice if unsure of any of these items included or not included on this list.

The post The Dog’s Christmas Dinner – What your dog can and cannot eat during festivities appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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We need to talk about Ziko.

Ziko arrived at our gates as a big bouncy pup leaping up at everyone and every thing he laid his eyes on.  He was quite striking to look at.  Big, brown, round, soft puppy eyes, a rough black and tan rottie/shepherd coat and a handsome, inquisitive face.  He was easy to fall head over heels for on first sight, that’s for sure.   Poor Ziko was so bewildered and unsure as to why he found himself homeless at such an early stage in his life and in the care of PAWS.  He didn’t seem to know what to do with himself.  He quickly established himself as firm favorite of many of our staff and long-term volunteer dog walkers, especially the large-dog lovers.   This was obviously down to his good looks, charm and his ability to make you laugh at his ‘overgrown puppy’ antics.  After some time had passed and he had settled a little bit, there was some expressed interest in Ziko but, through one circumstance or another, through no fault of his own, the offers didn’t seem to work out for him.

Now, over a year later, Ziko is starting to wonder when it’s his turn for a chance at a forever home.  Ziko is a large dog so needs someone with experience dealing with large breeds such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds etc.  He needs a spacious, fully enclosed, dog proof garden and someone who has experience in training and socialising dogs as he needs to brush up on all of his basic training.  However, we think due to him being a super, smart dude, he would excel at a doggy training class and even try his paw at canicross or bikejoring. Or make an excellent hiking or jogging partner.  In exchange for some time and care, we can assure that whoever offers this boy a chance at a forever home is ensured to have found a very loyal, faithful and affectionate companion, once they don’t mind Ziko’s infamous daily slobber kisses!  Could you be that special someone to offer this special boy a forever home? Contact PAWS or drop in to our shelter in Mullinahone, Co Tipperary for more info or to meet Ziko.

The post Hardest to rehome – Ziko appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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Our new charity Christmas cards and 2018 calendars are available now!

As always, our Christmas cards and calendars are in high demand and we are happy to say that, once again, they are available for the festive season online, (see paws.ie/shop) and in our charity shop in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Every sale goes directly to help fund PAWS to help continue our work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs and puppies at our shelter in Mullinahone, Co Tipperary.   Our Christmas cards have special print images of furry family members enjoying Christmas festivities including family pets cosily sleeping beside a Christmas tree in front of a roaring fire and a sleeping puppy in a Santa hat.  As always, our high in demand calendars for the new year feature our specially picked dogs and donkeys who have passed through our gates in the past years for each month including handsome staffie, Teddy Bear, who made front cover!  Get yours now!

The post We are excited to announce our new Christmas cards and 2018 calendars are out now for the festive season! appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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PAWS Animal Rescue are proud to announce that tickets for their 3rd annual Charity masquerade ball are available now.

This, as always, is a much anticipated social event and one of our most exciting and elegant nights of our fundraising  calendar. One that pays a huge help in raising some much needed funds to help us continue our fight in rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming unwanted and neglected dogs and puppies.  We would be delighted to have you and your group join us, once again, to help raise funds while also enjoying a night of dinner, drinks and dancing.

Our PAWS charity ball will, again, be held in Hotel Kilkenny on Saturday the 21st of October, 2017 and promises to be one our most enchanting and enjoyable nights yet. We will begin with a champagne reception at 7.30 pm followed by a delicious three-course meal and will carry on to a night of drinks and dancing to a live band until late.

As always, Hotel Kilkenny have reserved a number of rooms at a discounted price of €80 per person for double rooms B&B or €110 single B&B.

In order to purchase your Ball tickets, please go to our donate page on our website (www.paws.ie/donate) and include “ball” in the subject line. Tickets are priced at €65 each. We look forward to seeing you there!

The post The 2017 3rd Annual PAWS Charity Ball appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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It is not uncommon to hear of some people not knowing what a lurcher is and even more uncommon for people looking at them as pets.  Unfortunately, they are the most common dog in all of Ireland to find in homeless dog shelters and pounds searching for homes.  A lurcher is anything crossed with a greyhound, they are sight hounds which were originally found in the desert and were kept for their keen eyesight and ability to eye up prey from great distances.  They are speedy but only use it in short bursts where they use up usually all of their energy in one sprint and then promptly retire off to find a comfy bed, they are stealthy but rarely graceful dogs who are goofy rather than athletic looking.  They are gentle and affectionate but love a good tug o’ war or chew toy in between naps.  I’ve recently found myself the owner of one, when I adopted a less-than-a-year old lurcher boy earlier this year.  Below is a compiled list of all I’ve learned in the hopes of it giving some insight into the lurcher.

They don’t know how long their noses are! With this, comes a very unique and specific trait for lurcher-owners to contend with.  Their noses get everywhere and nothing or no where is safe.  You’ll find it in your dinner, on your computer keyboard, in the rubbish bin if you’re not watching, under your arm when they want rubs, you’ll get a cold, wet, long-nose pressed up against your back when your cuddled up on the couch, poking out from under your duvet when you want to go to bed and sometimes even in your crotch! As I write this, there is a lurcher nose nestled from under my arm and gently resting on my laptop.  Someone once said lurchers are not ‘licky dogs’ but tend to poke their noses at you instead, and lurchers have never forgotten this.

They sleep in really weird positions, like, really weird.  They’re usually on their back in the sunny spot on the floor, or on your couch, with their head twisted awkwardly and their legs contorted to look like something out of an orthopaedic case-study.  You get accustomed to it, but at first it can be quite startling, and get used to explaining it to guests, that, he is okay and ‘he’s just comfortable.’

Every other lurcher owner is instantly your best friend in every dog park.  This is probably because you have a mutual understanding for both the short-lived tribulations, long-term joys and all of the laughs of lurcher-ownership.  You share more than a chosen dog breed but an unspoken respect and shared compassion for your long-legged, donkey of a dog.  You’ll both know that when you opened your home to a sight hound, you all collectively and unknowingly took on an unofficial responsibility to spread the word of the joys of lurcher ownership to other dog-owners in the hopes others will do the same.  You love your lurcher, you hate the thought of so many others waiting in dog-shelters for homes of their own and you want others to feel the lurcher love too.

Lurchers respond well to commands. They just don’t always obey them! When I first acquired my lurcher two months ago, I was fully aware of the common conception that lurchers don’t ‘do’ obedience commands.  Because of this, I was determined to teach my boy a basic ‘sit’.  After two months and daily training, asking him to ‘sit’ for his dinner and treats, he had finally mastered it. He looked awkward and like he had too many legs that he knew what to do with but he had mastered it! However, when I then decided he was ready for a ‘lie down’ or a ‘wait’, this was when he promptly decided to forget he ever learned ‘sit’ and he has since decided that this training lark isn’t for him.  For this reason, if you are contemplating a lurcher breed, it is important to keep in mind that while some other breeds can master agility and training classes, you should be proud if your lurcher sits.  So, yes, lurchers respond well to commands, they just don’t always respond the way you like them too.

Lurcher fashion is a very real thing and deserves a place on a catwalk in London fashion week.  There are so many people that have found the niche in the market that lurcher owners search for for their long legged, long necked, no-two-are-ever-the-same-size sight hound breeds.  For a dog that requires a coat for the extra protection in cold weather as their fur isn’t thick enough to withstand extreme cold, the range of lurcher jackets, snugs and waterproof macs is unbelieveable! You discover a new hobby for looking at different styles of martingale collars, kennel-coats, waterproof lurcher jackets and colour swatches.  Your friends and work colleagues look at you cock-eyed as you discuss the different benefits of the two-tone fleece or the purple-camo collars you have your eye on.  I am sure that some people specifically choose sight hound breeds just for the dog wear alone!

Lurcher-love

It’s a very real thing.  Give a lurcher some love and they will return it ten-fold.  This is the lurcher guarantee.  Getting excited to get home and cuddle your lurcher becomes the norm and hugs on the couch with a fluffy blanket and a sight hound quickly becomes one of your favorite things to do. If you chose to adopt a dog because you wanted to get more active, the lurcher is, perhaps, the wrong dog for you.  They love their runs, but they tend to love their snuggles and naps more! And are very easily made couch potatoes, as soon as they are introduced to one.  That being said, they seem to love it more when they have you cuddled up beside them, that is, if they have left you any room on the couch/bed/settee and any other comfortable spot.

You start to regret all-things long or dangly in your house.  I recently contemplated buying a couch cushion with pretty tassels and instantly put it back when I thought of how hard it would be to have to remember to hide it every time you leave the lurcher alone in the living room.  That being said, I’ve never met a dog so appreciative of toys, if ever you feel he’s about to get into something he shouldn’t, show him a toy, and he’ll quickly forget about the mischief they were about to get into.  Call this their intuitiveness, maybe they’re just not used to having any of their own, or it’s their way of having you get a toy for them without them having to actually go looking for it themselves, but I think it’s all down to their general low-maintenance as dogs.  In my two months as a lurcher-owner, I’ve never come across a problem with him, yet, that a quick walk or a ball-throw around the garden didn’t sort out.  For every hour my lurcher is on his feet, he will spend three hours sleeping it off.

They are adorable! From their bright glossy eyes, their pricked up ears, and their big goofy noses to their long, swishy waggy tails, lurchers are hard not to fall head over heels with once you get to know one personally.  When they try to sit like a normal dog they end up all legs and just look awkward, their goofy personalities keep you giggling and their majestic stealth when they go for a run at top speed to name a few is something to contend with, how could you not love ’em?  Once you adopt a lurcher, you’ll find it difficult to ever want another breed.

The post Things I wish I knew before adopting a lurcher appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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Spring is within reach, folks, and with it, comes the end of long evenings and dark, winter dog walks.  So, to help us, dog owners, see the bad weather and dreary evenings through, we’ve compiled a list of the best and most simple ways to entertain your dog indoors.  Your dog will always need a good, daily walk but sometimes some indoor games will also help brush away the cobwebs, keep your pup’s mind sharp and help you see each other through the dark evenings.

1.  The Which Hand Game

This is where you take a tasty treat, give your dog a chance to have a smell then place the treat in one of your hands, close your fist and hold them in front of your dog so they can choose one.  If they get it wrong, don’t discourage them, let them keep trying until they get it right.  When they pick the right hand, let them have a treat and try again.  Assign, the command ‘touch,’ every time your dog gets it right as it will be helpful for future training.

Our dogs have excellent noses but they need to learn to utilize them.  Just like us they’re used to relying on visual cues in their normal day to day activities. Simple nose work games help hone in their natural sniffing ability, and it’s a nice mental workout.  It’s also a fun game for us too.

2.  Stuffed Kong and K9 connectables

Rubber Kongs and other mental stimulation toys are the active dog owner’s best friend.  Make sure whatever stimulation toy you get it is of high quality and won’t break apart when your dog uses their powerful jaws to work away at them.  Fill them up with all kind of doggy-favorite treats.  For example, try oily sardines, natural greek yoghurt, peanut butter, biscuit treats, carrot and apple slices, coconut oil, chicken pieces or mixing different kinds of varieties together.  Try freezing the toys the night before you plan on using them so that they last extra long when you give them to your pup.  Top Tip: Try feeding your dog his meals in a Kong so that they have to work for their food and meal times last longer, it also helps to slow down hasty eaters.

3.  Make a scavenger hunt or play ‘find the treats’

These kind of games are brilliant ways of keeping your dog busy.  Make sure you use extra smelly treats like cubes of cheese or bacon pieces and start off with easy places your dog will work out straight away and work up to more complicated places.  You can even assign a command to your dog finding things for you like, ‘Go Find,’ or ‘Search’ and make sure you give them lots of praise when they find the treats. Before you start playing, get your dog accustomed to using his nose by dragging the treat along the ground so they can pick up the scent.  All breeds will enjoy this kind of game, but hound dogs like beagles, basset hounds, retrievers etc. will go crazy for this kind of nose challenge.

4. Teach your dog the names of their toys

Many dogs are great at picking up the names of their treats, toys or different times of the day.  How often has your dog reacted to words you’ve said around them that you never intentionally taught them. For example, Louis, a rescue American Bulldog and former PAWS dog gets excited when anyone ever asks ‘are you hungry?’ around him.  Here’s how you teach him the names of his individual toys.  Start off by playing with one specific toy and giving it a name while you do, like teddy or ball.  After some practice & praise your dog will assign that verbal name with the chosen toy . Once your dog has learned that specific toy’s name you can test their skills by seeing if they can pick it out among their other toys.  This is a game that can be played over and over, and expanded every time.  Your dog will love pleasing you every time he gets it right and will enjoy showing off his smarts for you.

5.  Master the basics of obedience training

Does your dog know the basic obedience commands like Sit, Stay and Come on command?  Either way, the boring winter nights may just be the ideal time to perfect them.  These commands can be more than just good to know for trick training but a good Stay can be very helpful at several times throughout the day, like getting in the car or feeding time, and can help teach your dog to have patience.  Also, a good recall or Come command could save your dog from sticky situations like approaching something he shouldn’t, such as a reactive dog in the park or livestock.  Even well trained dogs need a refresher course every now and then to help keep them sharp.  There are lots of good dog training tutorials on YouTube such as Victoria Stillwell.

6. Play a game of Tug of Way with your dog

Tug of war is extremely tiring, both mentally and physically. The good news is you don’t need a ton of room to play so it can be done indoors. Make sure your dog has a good “drop it” or “leave it” command and have some fun with it.  It can also be a good workout for you too!

7. Enjoy a good grooming session

Although your dog won’t find a grooming session as exciting as a game of tug it is something that needs to be done from time to time. Our dogs need to be brushed, bathed, have their teeth brushed, and have their nails trimmed when they start to get long.

Some dogs tolerate grooming better than others, and the more you practice using positive rewards the easier it will become. Don’t be afraid to hand out lots of treats during a grooming session – you want to ensure your dog will associate grooming habits with a positive experience.  It can also be a great session of bonding time for you and your dog.

8. Create an indoor obstacle course for your dog

Sounds messy but it doesn’t have to be.  Have your dog jump over some towels, cardboard boxes, weave in and out of their toys and finish by lying down on a towel.  Use your imagination and take your time getting your dog to perfect his way through each obstacle with lots of treats.  You never know by the Summer, you could be entering agility trials but for now your dog will just relish getting your appraisal by doing something fun for both them and you.

After a nice training, mental stimulation session or a winter walk make sure to include some relaxation time but cuddling up on the couch with your pup.  We all need to unwind and your dog will love lounging around with you after some training or mental stimulation just as much as you will.  After all, that’s what winter nights are for!

The post Simple ways to entertain your dog indoors appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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2016 marked some very special milestones in the PAWS’ calendar in terms of adoption stories.  Some very special dogs found some very special homes, but even more impressive was that many of these dogs were some of our long-termers having spent a year or more in the PAWS kennels.  Among them was Ghost, Bracken, Kim, Teddy Bear, Suzi, Kevin, Scoby and Rose to name a few.  All had been overlooked for a chance of a home for one reason or another for so long just waiting for the right person to come along.

Often, the reasons for a dog taking longer to get adopted is for reasons through no fault of the dog’s.   Many black dogs, older dogs or certain breeds can get overlooked and, unfortunately, sometimes this is also the case at PAWS.  Tilly, our staffie cross girl, was one example of these dogs when she’d spent almost 2 years in the kennels.  Full of love, tail wags and licks for everyone that passed her kennel, no one could quite get their head around why Tilly was still looking for a home.  She loved everyone both two and four legged.  She played, she gave the best cuddles, she walked well on a lead, she had great mannerisms and she secretly held pride of place as everyone’s favorite girly in PAWS.  Even Tilly knew she’d make some very lucky person a great dog, if she was just given half a chance.

Luckily, this year marked the end of her wait when a very lovely couple and their rescue collie cross arrived at the PAWS gates looking for a new dog.  The kennels were a buzz with excitement when they took Tilly for a walk with their dog and, as you might have guessed, that’s all it took.  A short while later, Tilly was on her way home to her forever couch at last.  A very happy ending for a very happy dog.  Tilly’s story is an example of why dogs should never be overlooked due to their appearance, their story or their colour.  Often, long-term shelter dogs make the best dogs, they just need somebody to give them their chance.  Tilly’s story is what gives us the strength and determination to get up and fight another day.  It’s because of dogs like Tilly and her lovely new owners which is why PAWS does what it does.

The post 2016 Success Stories – Tilly found her forever home appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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With a new season, brought us some very happy news!

One of our former long-term PAWS’ dogs found her forever home.   After almost two years in the PAWS kennels, our American Bulldog cross Kim finally got her well-deserved happily ever after.  Poor Kim found herself in PAWS almost two years ago, after she spent the first part of her life being passed from pillar to post never finding her real forever home.  She was a favorite amongst lots of our staff and volunteers and shared her kennel with all shapes and sizes of dogs.  She watched every one of her kennel mates getting adopted and moving on to their very own forever homes and you could just see it in her while she tried to work out why she was staying behind and no one has come for her.

During the summer, a very special appeal for forever homes for our long-termers was launched online and lots of people came forward to enquire about our special ‘sticky’ dogs.  We all had our fingers crossed for special girl, Kim.  Finally, a very lovely man arrived at the PAWS gates looking for a friend for his rescue rottweiler, Elvis.  Kim and Elvis immediately hit it off and a few weeks later, Kim was heading off to her new forever home.  We recently got an update letting us know that Kim is getting on fantastic in her new home with her new rottie brother.  We couldn’t be happier for Kim, we knew all she needed was a little time and understanding and she would flourish in a new home. We are so glad she finally got her chance.  This kind of success stories is what gives us PAWS crew the drive and hope we need to carry on.

If you would like to find out about adopting one of our special long-term PAWS dogs, please contact PAWS directly on (052) 915 3507, email us pawsanimalrescue@eircom.net or take a look at our information on our long termers in the Kennel Diaries below.

The post Success Stories – Kim found her home appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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We are delighted to announce that tickets are now available for the 2016 PAWS ball fundraiser.  The ball will once again be held at the elegant Hotel Kilkenny, on the Callan Rd. Kilkenny. It will take place on Saturday, 15th of October.

Last year, the first ever PAWS ball was a big success and helped to raise much-needed funds for PAWS to help further our rescue work in helping abused, abandoned and unwanted dogs and puppies.  This year’s ball is promised to be bigger and better, with a twist, as it will be a masquerade ball.  So, get in touch with your creative side and start thinking about what kind of mask you would like to don (a limited amount of masks will also be available on the night.)  The dress code will be semi-formal like last year.

The night will begin with a drinks reception at 7.30pm, followed by a three-course meal (please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements, are vegetarian/vegan etc. when purchasing your ticket).  The meal will be followed by after-dinner entertainment by Damo (also known as the Dublin Taxi Driver on Youtube) followed by the band, Supernova.  We will also have our raffle, spot prizes and DJ to finish off the night.

How to get tickets:

Tickets are priced at €50 each and to purchase them , visit www.paws.ie/shop
At the Checkout there is a section called Order Notes. If you have any dietary requirements, please enter them here. For anyone who does not wish to purchase tickets online, you can also do it by sending a cheque or postal order to

PAWS Animal Rescue,
Mullinahone,
Co. Tipperary.
If choosing this option, please include your name and address so that we know where to send out your tickets.

Where to stay:

The Hotel Kilkenny have kindly put aside 25 rooms, at a special rate, for anyone attending the Ball. It will be €80 per person sharing for B&B and €105 for singles. To reserve a room please call the hotel on (056) 776 2000 and tell them you’re coming to the PAWS Ball.
There are many other hotels and B&B’s nearby, so don’t worry if you miss out on one of these rooms.

Spread the word, get booking and we will look forward to seeing you there!

The post Tickets now available for the PAWS ball 2016 appeared first on PAWS Animal Rescue.

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