Mo Chara Animal Rescue: Lurchers - Ireland's forgotten dogs?

Mo Chara

Elton and Kiki, Lurchers at Mo Chara

A Lurcher is the offspring of any sighthound (e.g. Greyhound, Whippet, Saluki) mated with another breed.

In Ireland, with its long history of Greyhound Racing and Coursing, Lurchers are abundant. They make up a huge percentage of the dogs currently in the care of Irish Rescues and pounds but sadly, for most of them their only hope of becoming a family pet lies overseas. As a nation, we seem to overlook these graceful, gentle dogs when looking for a pet – and we at Mo Chara are urging people to think differently!

Seen as disposable by some, these sweet, delicate dogs are too often kept in poor conditions, bred relentlessly and then simply discarded when their health or speed fail them, it’s a heartbreaking fate for any dog. In all honesty, they require very little in life to keep them happy and healthy (for this reason they make wonderful first-time pets). They don’t require very long walks or complicated grooming routines and they are, more often than not, gentle and easy-going dogs.

We currently have many gorgeous lurchers in our care including Elton and Kiki, two Belgian Shepherd / Greyhound crossbreed pups. The pups are 5 months old and full of fun! Playful and loving, these two would melt any heart and would gladly settle into any family. They came to us, as many lurchers do, via North Tipperary Pound after finding themselves homeless. Though safe and happy here at the rescue, Elton and Kiki are looking for their forever homes! If you would like to meet Elton or Kiki, please call us on 087-6576022.

In the depths of last winter, an old Lurcher girl was thrown from a car near Littleton, Tipperary. Having given her life to breeding, her age now left her useless to her owner and so, like too many others she was discarded. The poor old girl was thin and covered in scars, bruises and fresh wounds when found but she was as gentle as a lamb. Adopted by the manager of our jumble sale, Honey became a regular in Knox Hall where she stole hearts and won many people over to the side of the humble Lurcher. Sadly, after just 6 months Honey passed away, her difficult life may not have hurt her temperament but it had shaved years off her life.

Below is a poem Noreen wrote expressing her grief for Honey and for all of Ireland's forgotten Lurchers. (For the record, Honeys dumping was witnessed, the owner was located and justice was served.)
On a bitter cold and wintery night a hurried phone call came
“Come quick” they cried, “Its life or death for a lurcher with no name!"
They threw her from a car, you see, on a lonesome country lane
And through the night she cried and cried, her body old, broken and in pain
For life, it has no sympathy for the lurcher with no name
Morning dawned when angels came and brought her safely home
They promised they would feed her, keep her safe and keep her warm
When they promised they would cherish her she knew true love at last
And her angels kept their promises until the day she passed
No more pain or suffering for the lurcher with no name
Curse you mother Ireland – has this country got no shame?!
No welfare laws are welcome here, suffering treated like a game
Dáil Éireann hang your heads down low for many more will lie
In a lonely ditch on an Irish road beneath a Winters sky
When will someone take a stand for the lurchers with no name?
As for the cur who done this deed your day will surely come
As for justice for my Honey dog – well, we already won.
RIP Honey, 2017

For more information on adopting a pet from Mo Chara Animal Rescue, please call 087-2577182 (for cat adoptions and general queries) or 087-6576022 (for dog adoptions), email: or find us on Facebook

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