West Cork bids farewell to its caring champion of animals Anita Douglass

April 3rd, 2024 1:45 PM

By Jackie Keogh

The late Anita Douglass.

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THE death has occurred of Anita Douglass, a woman who was renowned for her compassion and care of neglected animals.

Anita’s family posted a brief message, confirming her death, on the Skibbereen Animal Rescue Centre’s page.

They said Anita (70) went into cardiac arrest while going for a check-up and they were shocked at her sudden passing.

It was Anita’s heart – her capacity to care for so many animals that could otherwise have been killed – that endeared her to so many people.

A lot of people with treasured pets – animals that she saved from starvation or ill-treatment – spoke of her goodness in providing them with food, shelter, and veterinarian assistance, first at Skeagh in Skibbereen, and subsequently at Ballydehob.

Former veterinarian, Tom Farrington expressed his sense of sadness at Anita’s passing. ‘She was a unique person who always had space for another animal, especially the ones people were afraid to take,’ he said.

Another person described her as ‘a remarkable woman and a powerful and beautiful soul’. One said: ‘She was a great woman who did so much good in this world.’

Anita was frequently featured in the pages of The Southern Star, including the setback she experienced during Covid when her charity shop at North Street in Skibbereen closed, which meant she had to run the Skibbereen Animal Rescue Centre on a shoestring budget.

That was in 2020, a time when she was feeding and caring for her 111 animals, and using her pension to foot the bills.

But people found a way to support Anita’s work by donating food at Paul Connolly’s business at Spar Cork Road, where she was also given a discount on animal products.

At that time, Anita also took out a loan to meet the shortfall needed to feed 58 dogs, 27 cats, 19 horses and ponies, three donkeys, one mule and three goats, that she had at that time.

News of that story reached a boy in Schull, Rolo Lynch. Although he was just nine at the time, Rolo ran 5km every day for 10 days, which allowed him to raise €1,150 for Anita and her work.

News of Rolo’s run reached a vegan society in Japan and they presented him with a plaque and $10,000 in recognition of his act of compassion.

That was the effect Anita had on the people around her.

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