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The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a registered charity, established in 1840 to prevent cruelty to animals and is now Ireland's largest animal welfare organisation.

Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
AbbreviationDSPCA or Dublin SPCA
Legal statusRegistered Charity
PurposeHumane care for animals
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland
Region served
Official language



  • Investigating suspected cruelty and where appropriate prosecuting people who inflict cruelty on animals.
  • Providing animal ambulance service to rescue sick and injured animals.
  • Caring for animals at the shelter in Rathfarnham.
  • Finding new homes for the animals.
  • Providing advice and information to the public on pet care and animal related queries.
  • Providing accessible veterinary treatment at mobile clinics.
  • Providing educational information and an information service, colleges and youth groups.
  • Providing career guidance advice for those interested in working with animals.
  • Working on legislative changes to improve protection for animals.


The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was established in 1840 and is the oldest and largest animal charity in the Republic of Ireland.

In its early days the Society was known as the Dublin Auxiliary of the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals and it was founded the year the RSPCA received Royal Patronage, over the years it has had many names including "The Dublin Home for Starving and Forsaken Cats".

The Society was based at Grand Canal Quay in Dublin City from its formation in 1840 up until 1990, and generations of Dublin people were familiar with it as "The Dogs and Cats Home" and at times as "The Cats & Dogs Home".

In 1990 the Society moved to Potterton Restfields at Stocking Lane in Rathfarnham, a suburb of Dublin. The land was bequeathed to the Society in the 1936 as a place to graze retired working horses.[1] In 2003 the Society moved to its new premises on Mount Venus Road, Rathfarnham where state-of-the-art facilities were built to continue the work of the Society. The Dublin SPCA continues to care for the sick, injured and cruelly treated animals in Dublin city and county.

It is the only animal welfare charity in the city that cares for all animals, domestic and wild.

In 2010 the Dublin SPCA has commenced work on a new unique sustainable charity model for animal welfare. It commenced the construction of a large Veterinary Clinic, a Pet Boarding Centre and a Dog Park at the Dublin SPCA shelter. The new Pet Boarding Centre opened in November 2010 and the Vet Clinic and the Dog Park opened in 2011.


The Dublin SPCA shelter is on Mount Venus Road, Rathfarnham.

Opened in 2003, it is a state-of-the-art facility offering shelter and care to a wide variety of animals including more commonly dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, goats, cows, pigs, rabbits, ferrets, gerbils, budgies, snakes, terrapins and all manner of farmyard fowl. The centre is also a rest stop for a number of injured and young wildlife awaiting release including swans, foxes, badgers and small birds.

Mobile ClinicEdit

The Dublin SPCA operates four mobile clinics which offer subsidised Veterinary treatment for pets whose owners are in receipt of welfare benefit.


The Dublin SPCA has a trained force of Inspectors.

The Inspectors' primary role is as follows:

  • To investigate complaints of cruelty and neglect.
  • To provide guidance and education to animal owners where necessary.
  • To initiate prosecutions for offences.
  • To attend to sick and injured stray animals or those which have been abandoned.


Four ambulances cover the whole of Dublin City and County, responding to accident and emergency calls from the public. They specialise in the collection of sick and injured animals. They deal with everything from road traffic accidents to trapped or sick animals or animals that need to be removed from a situation of cruelty.


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