VAT’s not fair

Dundalk Dog Rescue co-founder Bobby Wain has described an €80,000 VAT bill owed to the government as ‘thievery’ and has appealed for the payment to be written off. Dundalk Dog Rescue is an entirely voluntary non-profit making organisation set up in 2005 by a group of ordinary people in the community of Dundalk and the surrounding areas. Over the past 16 years the group have saved thousands of dogs lives by rehoming dogs all over the county.

However, putting the dogs in commercial kennels was very costly and not sustainable and in 2017 the charity launched an ambitious fundraising drive to build a dedicated rescue centre in the community which would not only house dogs but also be a centre for education which would inform and educate people to try and make sure dogs are treated better in society.

After many years of hard work on the fundraising trail the group announced last year that they had reached their target of €350,000 and secured planning permission for a site in Dromiskin which allowed them to begin phase 1 of their project. That work was completed in February but with approximately €100,000 needed to complete phase two the group’s fundraising efforts have been severely hampered by the ongoing Covid situation. There is also the small matter of an €80,000 VAT bill which is owed to government and according to DDR’s Bobby Wain he believes it is scandalous that their fundraising efforts have been undermined by the government taking a big chunk of what they have raised to date.

“The people of Dundalk and all over the county have been so so generous and helped us out so much over the last number of years during all of our fundraising efforts. We are a registered charity and we have raised over €350,000 yet the government can just swoop in and take €80,000 of that money that was given to us in good faith by the people who supported us. I see this as pure and simple thievery by the government and I find it astonishing that they will not talk to us and offer to work with us when essentially we are a group of hard working volunteers who are picking up the slack from their under resourced services.

“To put it simply we are doing the job the state are failing to do. We have saved thousands of dogs in Louth since we started in 2005 and we have got pretty much nothing back from the government in terms of grants or anything like that. Instead they are taking a huge chunk of the money that the people in our community have given to help us build a dedicated dog shelter which we plan on opening later this year. Our fundraising efforts have been crippled over the past fifteen months due to COVID and the government need to wake up. We are so close to finishing this project and we need support to get over the last hurdle. We have contacted officials in government so many times to talk about this but they won’t even respond or sit down with us.

“We are a group of four directors and about 70 volunteers and every single penny that we raise goes towards our charity. Revenue are taking money out of our pockets having done absolutely nothing to help us over the years. It’s not right and they need to wake up and realise that we are here on the ground saving them money by doing the job they are supposed to be doing. If any local businesses or people in the community can help us get over the final hurdle please get in contact as we still need in the region of €100,000 to complete this project. My email address is bobby.wain@dundalkdogrescue.ie and any help at all will be greatly appreciated,” stated Bobby.

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