Peacock spreading its feathers at Milwaukee Zoo. Photo by Antigrandiose

Peacock spreading its feathers at Milwaukee Zoo. Photo by Antigrandiose

During the Celtic Tiger some people took on untypical animals as pets to show their wealth

In the middle of setting up an interview with head of education and media at the DSPCA, Gillian Bird a loud noise is interfering with the audio in my crew´s ear phones. We have to take a break to try to locate the sound. It turns out that the sound is not a defect, it is a peacock crying out for attention. But what is a peacock doing at the DSPCA shelter?  The answer literally came as a shock to the whole crew.

– The peacock story is a part of the good economic period in Ireland, called the Celtic Tiger. Why not get a lovely peacock to strut around our newly refurbished garden.

What they obviously did not know Bird tells us, is that peacocks are quite loud and love to fly into other peoples gardens. The peacock was seen as a status symbol, but the big beautiful bird came to the shelter when the Celtic Tiger ended.

– People do not know much about how to keep a big bird like a peacock as a pet. It is not the same as having a dog or a cat.

For more about the Peacock story see the embedded youtube clip of our documentary.

High hopes and still worried

Bird says that she is worried and thinking about what will be the consequence for animals when the recession ends and people will  start getting their jobs back.

– There is always the concern that some animals will become unwanted when the recession ends, she says.

Gillian Bird does however hope that  the DSPCA have educated and provided people with enough information so that they will avoid this issue when the recession ends.

– When the recession started we saw an increase in people taking on animals, and especially dogs. We never gave away any animals easily, and hopefully the process every single person or family who were allowed to adopt an animal went trough has been enough to make them understand the responsibility. An animal is a living creature that needs to be taken care of. When people adopt an animal from us here at the DSPCA it is for life.