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Ophelia: Raining cats and dogs as hurricane hits Northern Ireland

But shelters ensure furry friends kept safe and well


A woman and her two Alsatians in Donaghadee

A woman and her two Alsatians in Donaghadee

In Warrenpoint a dog and his owners brave the elements

In Warrenpoint a dog and his owners brave the elements


A woman and her two Alsatians in Donaghadee

As Ophelia's tail swept across Northern Ireland yesterday, animal lovers were working to keep their four-legged friends protected from the elements.

Staff, volunteers and vets were on the ground at one of our biggest animal homes, Assisi Animal Sanctuary in Bangor, Co Down.

Alison Kampbell from the centre said they had been at the sanctuary from early yesterday and were preparing to stay throughout the duration of the storm.

"We have been around the sanctuary and we have taken down things like hanging baskets or anything at all that may fly around and cause harm, basically anything that isn't nailed down," she said.

"We have taken the dogs out for a short walk and put them in their pens again to keep them safe.

"We put up Perspex covers over the dog runs and rabbit runs to give some more protection too.

"We are going about our day as normally as possible.

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"But the wind is picking up now as I speak to you." Meanwhile, at Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary a staff member said it was preparing to finish up early after it ensured the animals were safe and closed in.

"The way that the shelter was built means that it should stand up well to the storm," they explained.

"We are well back from the roads and well covered in, so it will be okay."

And at Aughnacloy, Kevin Curran from Perfect Paws Dog Shelter said at noon yesterday that, so far, they "weren't facing too many difficulties".

"We keep the animals inside anyway, but we have checked all gates and fences are secure."

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