Former Eurovision winner Linda Martin said she has been left “penniless” by her dream of building a new dog sanctuary in Dublin.
he singer, a campaigner for animal welfare, has been working on the project for the past two years. She has also adopted 13 rescue dogs in the past.
The sanctuary is being launched on March 24 by none other than Lord of the Rings star Ian McKellen. The actor will be in Dublin to appear in Mother Goose at the Bord Gais Theatre.
Linda said she also hopes comedian John Bishop and Louis Walsh will be there on the day too.
“I’ve been involved with animal welfare for pretty much all my life. With the Dublin pound closed just over two years ago, there was nowhere for animals to go in the city centre,” she said.
“I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is. I was given a piece of land just behind the airport on the outskirts of Finglas.
“There’s a kennel block, veterinary area, and an exercise area. It can hold 20 big dogs or more if they’re smaller.
“I applied for planning permission, all in all, it took two years and a lot of money. I’m now a penniless person.”
Linda has just over a week to prepare for the big opening, but despite sill having lots to do, she says it’ll all be worth it in the end.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I wanted a dog shelter for a long time,” she said.
“I’m excited at the moment, but sometimes I feel like crying because there’s so much to do and there’s so much involved in it. But I really am happy that I can offer a refuge for stray dogs.
“Ian McKellen agreed to open it for me. I was told John Bishop’s wife has an animal sanctuary in England and he wants to come over as well.
“Louis Walsh and Rory Cowan will be there too. We’re going to have a really great day and I’m praying the rain stays off.
“There’ll be big welcomes and big thanks to those who made this possible for me. We’ll have a bit of a party as well.
“We’re doing things day by day at the minute. Things keep happening every day, someone else gets involved,” Linda added.
The DSPCA this week said it has seen a drastic increase in the number of dogs, cats, and other animals, such as rabbits and ferrets, being left into its facility in Rathfarnham.
The charity said it has been contacted by 848 pet owners looking to surrender their animals so far this year. With the numbers increasing daily, it is putting severe pressure on the charity’s waiting list.
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