We Are Hiring – Equine Care & Rehabilitator

We have an exciting opportunity for a part-time position of employment at DSPCA Animal Shelter to work with our Equine Rehabilitation Team. We are looking for a suitable candidate to work Friday’s & Saturdays to assist in the care & rehabilitation of our equine rescues.


Must have good knowledge, training & experience of working with horses.
Knowledge of feeding horses, especially horses that are under veterinary care.
Knowledge & experience of handling a wide range of horses, ponies & donkeys, including equines with behavioural problems.
Knowledge & experience of basic veterinary treatments (applying poultice, giving oral medication, cleaning minor wounds).

Candidates must be open to working with other Animal Care Departments when required.
This job involves working outdoors and involves physical work.
Applicants must be physically fit and used to handling a wide range of equines.
Hours of work are 9.00am to 5.00pm, standard 7 hour working day.
Includes weekend & bank holiday work & covering for staff when on annual leave.


– General yard duties
– Mucking out, feeding, watering equines
– Daily check of all equines
– Rehabilitation work; teaching equines how to lead, tie up, pick up feet, load in trailer, etc
– Retraining equines with behavioural problems
– Preparing equines for finding their forever homes
– Daily handling, grooming of equines
– Basic veterinary treatments for equines under vet care
– Maintaining diary for farrier, vaccinations & worming programmes
– Other manual duties

Position is subject to Garda Vetting and reference check.

How to apply
To apply for the role please email your CV and cover letter to Claire

Foster/Volunteer Department Assistant


The DSPCA is Ireland’s leading animal welfare organisation, established over 180 years ago in 1840. Over the years we have grown to be the leading and largest animal welfare charity in Ireland. We exist uniquely to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome sick, injured and cruelly treated animals. It is an exciting time to join the DSPCA as we focus on transformative growth and our long term strategy.

An opportunity has arisen for a Foster & Volunteer Department Assistant to join our Foster & Volunteer Department.

This position requires a dedicated individual who is passionate about animal welfare and thrives in a dynamic and fast-paced environment. You must work effectively as part of a team and have strong communication skills.

Responsibilities and Duties (include but not exclusive to)

Animal Care:

Responsible for the care of animals while onsite and in the care of the foster department, incoming from other agencies, from the ambulance/inspectors.

These animals will be kept in the foster room, foster office or Isolation Building this will also include any new areas that may be delegated to the foster department.

Responsibilities with these animals will be carried out with strict Barrier Nursing Protocols- training will be provided and signed off by the Vet Department.

Administer medication if needed and as directed by the Vet Department.

Tasks will include but not limited to the following:

– Preparing and setting up kennels

– Ensuring animals are fed and cleaned at appropriate intervals throughout the day until suitable foster homes are available

– FULL DEEP CLEANS this must be done immediately after the animals have left the premises. This means all areas, kennels, foster room including floors and crates and such, must be deep cleaned using the protocols given to you by the Vet Department – training will be provided

Patience and Preparation it is very important to be set up for any emergencies that can come in at any time, have baby bottles, heat pads, and hot water bottles sterilised, newspapers, blankets and appropriate size crates/ kennels at the ready.

Foster Supply Room:

Each morning the successful candidate will be asked to attend to the Foster Room

– Washing and dying of all pet bedding throughout the day

– Food containers need to be topped up and stock of specialty food taken

– Foster Room must be kept clean and organised at all times.

All supplies must be kept clean, when foster animals return the supplies must be collected from reception and sorted into the correct bins for cleaning

Every evening packs for the following day must be completed and labelled for what animal they belong too

Responsible for the inventory of all food & ordering of all food stock.

Duties & Repsonsibilities

Foster Placement and Coordination:

– Facilitate the foster application and approval process, ensuring potential foster caregivers meet the shelter’s requirements.
– Match animals with suitable foster homes based on the animals’ needs, behaviour, and medical requirements, as well as the capabilities and preferences of foster caregivers.
– Coordinate with the veterinary staff to ensure animals are up-to-date on vaccinations and receive necessary medical care before going into foster homes.
– Meeting and greeting foster families, suppling food when called to reception or sending by An Post as requested.

Foster Caregiver Support:

– Provide ongoing support to foster caregivers, including guidance on animal care, behaviour management, and answering any questions or concerns they may have.
– Regularly check in with foster caregivers to assess the well-being of the animals and offer assistance as needed.

Volunteer Placement and Coordination:

– Application & Recruitment Process
– Co-ordinating volunteer induction & training
– Support of Garda Vetting process
– Assist with volunteer systems and databases

Animal Health and Welfare:

– Work closely with the veterinary team to monitor the health and medical needs of animals in foster care. Ensure that foster caregivers are equipped with necessary medications, food, and supplies for the animals in their care.
– Coordinate veterinary appointments and medical treatments for animals in foster care, as required.
– Triage and address queries from foster carers and liaise directly with the Veterinary department as required.

Qualifications & Person Qualities

– Previous experience in an animal shelter, rescue organisation, is a plus.

– Strong passion for animal welfare and a genuine interest in promoting the well-being of shelter animals.
– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with foster caregivers, staff, and volunteers.
-Strong phone skills.
– Detail-oriented with strong organisational skills to manage animal records, foster placements, and appointments effectively.
– Ability to handle and prioritise multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment.
– Basic knowledge of animal behaviour and common health issues in dogs, cats, and other animals.
– Compassion, patience, and empathy when dealing with animals and their caregivers.
– Strong ability to build relationships.

Salary, Hours & How To Apply

Full-time salaried position with baseline work week of 35 hours per week and 22 days holiday per year.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday & Saturday 9am – 5pm

Position is subject to Garda Vetting and reference check.


Ear Cropping Case

In November 2021 we were faced with a sweet innocent puppy who had been seized from his owner by our inspectors and assisted by An Garda Síochána. He had one of the worst cases of ear cropping that we had seen. Most of his poor ears were cut off. They were sore and red with open wounds. The suture material used to stitch his ears had cut through his skin leaving deep sore infected wounds. His left ear had 8 looped stitches and his right ear had 14.

3 of the stitches were pulled so tightly they were embedded into his skin. When our vet tried to clean any part of his ears he cried. It was absolutely heartbreaking hearing him whining and whimpering in pain. He was sedated and the thick blue suture material used to stitch his ears was removed.

On Tuesday, the owner was fined €3,000 at a Dublin District Court and avoided a jail sentence. The owner was not present in court but his solicitor advised that he bought the puppy 2 weeks before he was seized and his ears had already been cropped but Judge Halpin said. “The first thing he should have done was go to a vet who could have applied an antibiotic to the ears “to relieve the pain this dog was going through”. The DSPCA accepts the courts ruling.

Ear cropping is illegal in Ireland. It is an incredibly painful procedure and carried out purely for cosmetic reasons. The pain that poor Rolly went through was completely unnecessary and 100% avoidable. We cared for Rolly, relieved his excruciating pain and nursed him back to health. He is now a happy boy in a wonderful loving home.

Lacey’s Case

Lacey a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and was owned by a person from North Dublin. She was convicted under the 2013 Act on three counts – failing to safeguard the dogs’ welfare, failing to get veterinary care and to provide fresh food and water.
She was banned from the ownership of a dog for 5 years and fined €2,200.
Lacey weighed just 10.6kg when she arrived at the DSPCA (adult target weight 15/16kg). She weighed in at 14.5kg the day she was rehomed.

Ruby’s Case

Ruby, an English Bull Terrier was seized from a person in Ballymun. She pleaded guilty on two counts – failing to get veterinary treatment and failing to safeguard the dogs welfare. She surrendered the dog to the DSPSCA, was prosecuted under the 2013 Animal Health and Welfare Act and received a fine of €300.
Ruby had a nail bed infection with broken dew claw, skin allergies and infected eyes as well as being underweight. Her condition improved quickly with veterinary treatment during her rehabilitation in the DSPCA.

Alpha’s Case

Alpha, a black Labrador cross, was seized by the DSPCA Inspectors from Swords, Co. Dublin because he was living in confined space in a side entrance full of dog faeces without shelter. Alpha was also very underweight. Alpha’s owner pleaded guilty to three counts under the Act and received a lifetime ban on the ownership of any dog and a fine of €1,000. On arrival at the DSPCA, Alpha weighed just 19.8kg (30-40kg is normal) but at time of rehoming he weighed 27kg and has continued to gain and maintain a healthy amount of weight in his new home.

Cat neglect and starvation

The DSPCA are delighted with the court results from today of an owner of a cat who died due to severe neglect and starvation. Swords District Court found Rudolf Ciskos guilty of mistreating his cat and fined him €200 and court costs of €500 all payable to the DSPCA. He was also banned from the ownership of any animal for a period of 2 years.
This is a great step forward in court proceedings in a case relating to a cat. The DSPCA is rarely successful in prosecutions around cases dealing with cats as proof of ownership is difficult to prove. Unfortunately in this case the cat had to be euthanasied by a DSPCA Vet on humane grounds due to the severity of neglect.

Emaciated Doberman

On the 19th January 2017, following a court hearing at Balbriggan Court by Judge Dempsey, the owner of an emaciated Doberman dog was convicted of animal cruelty under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. Before ruling, Judge Dempsey ask the accused, a woman local to Balbriggan, if she had any other animals. She replied that she currently has another dog. He then ruled that the defendant was sentenced to a one year ban on the ownership of animals, a €300 fine and an order to surrender her dog to the DSPCA.
In a Statement by DSPCA Inspector Liam Kinsella, Animal Health and Welfare Inspector authorised officer under section 37 of the animal health and welfare act 2013, “On the 16th March 2016 I received a call from DSPCA dispatch regarding a very underweight Doberman dog ….. I was shocked at the condition of the dog, it was very thin.” Inspector Kinsella said.
Blood samples taken by the DSPCA Veterinary team showed there was no underlying medical conditions which would explain the serious weight loss, so the weight loss was a result of neglect.
Inspector Kinsella said “We are delighted with the outcome of the case. The dog has been rehomed and is doing very well in his new home. We would like to thank Judge Dempsey and the Department of Agriculture for their assistance in this case.”

Violets’s Story

Poor little Violet came into the shelter in a horrible state with severe matting all over her body and skin inflammation. She was covered in her own feces with a huge build up making it very painful and extremely uncomfortable for her. The bone on her tail was completely exposed and even under sedation it was painful to touch.
Our veterinary team worked very carefully to remove the matted fur and after she was cared for and monitored closely by our animal care staff to make sure she could go to the toilet on her own as she was unable to do so because of the matting. To see any animal this way is just so upsetting and totally unacceptable. With a huge team effort Violet made a full recovery and she was adopted by a wonderful lady who adored her the moment she met her.

Gandalf’s Story

At 11 years old Gandalf was left abandoned in a horrible state, severely underweight and suffering from skin disease. Apart from toilet breaks he didn’t leave his bed for the first 2 days, he was exhausted. An incredible team of inspectors, vets, nurses, animal care staff, volunteers and the adoptions team put their hearts and souls into helping this old boy feel better.
A truly wonderful family came to meet him and offered their hearts and their home to give Gandalf a chance of love, security and happiness for the rest of his days and today he went home. This old boy completely stole all our hearts and it was only right that we were all there to see him off and wish him and his new family all the love in the world. He had a special little thank you of his own for Lynda who looked after him so well