My Lovely Horse Rescue has come up with the idea of giving animals human names to help get them rehomed.

The non-profit organisation helps rescue, rehabilitate and rehome unwanted, neglected and abused animals such as horses, pigs, goats, cats, and dogs.

The charity was set up in 2011 when co-founders Cathy Davey, Martina Kenny and her sister Deborah rescued two horses in Dublin.

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The trio had no intentions of starting an animal rescue at the time but were simply animal lovers who just saw a problem in Dublin and felt that they might be able to help one or two horses.

The Devine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, who wrote My Lovely Horse for Father Ted, is Cathy’s partner so the organisation decided to use the song title for its name.

Ten years on the trio never expected to turn into something as big as it is and since the charity’s launch they have helped cater to thousands of horses. They also look after roughly 550 animals at any time.



Fiona and Thierry
Fiona and Thierry

Volunteer Fiona Murtagh told Dublin Live: “All our animals have human names. I do love Cilla and I love her mam’s name Betty White. We’ve Gordon Ramsey too.

“With the charity, the guys realised human names could associate with people because they might have a relative or a friend with the same name and it helped rehome them. We love the human names.”

There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes, with volunteers available 24/7.

“They’re always there to give advice and we go if needed. A lot of our volunteers are Dublin based too,” Fiona added.

“We record everything, all the incidents are put onto our system. We know the areas where there’s more issues.

“Social media means anyone can message us 24/7 and we watch them as much as we can. It’s a massive job and it takes up a lot of volunteers.

“We’ve hundreds of animals in our care, some of them are in foster homes, some of them are here at our main farm. We also have a farm in Cork – My Lovely Cork Rescue and we have a pig rescue in Kildare too.

“We’ve branched out to many different animals, we began with horses. We rescue and rehabilitate cats, dogs, pigs, goats, donkeys, mules, a bit of everything.

“We’re trying to make a difference in the lives of as many as we can and our goal is to rehome them.”

Fiona spoke about Thierry, a male foal who was rescued at the beginning of 2022 and was one of the lucky cases the rescue came across.

She said: “Thierry would be a case we’d see quite a lot. He came to us through the pound, he’s a young foal.

“When he came to us he still should’ve been with his mammy, he was very underweight. Young boys are typically a lot of what we’d get in.

“Some animals are surrendered, every case is different but we work with it as best as we can.

“Thierry came to us in January, he was terrified of people. He got a sense from us that he was in a safe place, it took time, it took us feeding him, him getting confident and getting bigger.

“He sees that the other animals are comfortable and that helps him.”

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