The Shelter: Animal SOS – Six-part RTÉ One television series returns for new season following the work of the DSPCA, Ireland’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity

  • New ‘behind the scenes’ series brings fresh insight into DSPCA’s vital work including the dedicated veterinary team who fight to save the lives of the many domestic and wildlife animals that need their help every day.


The Shelter: Animal SOS returns to RTÉ One for a brand-new series, that offers a behind the scenes look at the work of the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), Ireland’s oldest and largest animal welfare organisation. The programme is being aired in partnership with Purina PRO PLAN – who believe that nutrition is the foundation of long-term health and the starting point to an amazing life for animals.

The six-part series, filmed at the 32-acre DSPCA facility in the Dublin mountains over the course of a year, shares the trials and triumphs of a dedicated team of care-staff, vets and volunteers as they fight to save the lives of the many animals that need their help.

From kittens to foxes, puppies to ponies, every animal is given a chance at the DSPCA’s bustling shelter. The new series provides a unique perspective on the incredible work undertaken by DSPCA veterinary surgeon and former rugby player for Ireland, Elise O’Byrne White, as well as kennel carers Shane Lawlor and Tanya Clarke.

Vet Maria Nolan features in the first episode when she tends to a tiny injured kitten, Stevie, who was found on a building site, entangled in a plastic bag. It’s a race against time to save the unfortunate feline’s life.

The DSPCA is dedicated to the promotion of animal welfare and the protection and rehabilitation of sick, abused or neglected animals, and the organisation says that the television series will give the public a realistic behind the scenes look at the great work they do to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome over 2,500 animals every year.


Episode 1


  • In the first episode, Vet Elise and Nurse Mandy battle to save cat named June’s life.
  • Kennel carers Shane and Tanya give a very underweight lurcher, Willow, a new lease of life.
  • Vet Maria performs emergency surgery on a kitten found injured on a building site.


Elise O’Byrne White, Veterinary Surgeon at the DSPCA, said: “After last year’s series, both myself and the whole team at the DSPCA are delighted to be back on RTE One’s screens for the new series. Ever since I volunteered here, I have loved it so much! It’s a really unique place to work and every day since last year’s series throws up something new.” 

“It has always been such a great place to work in terms of the team and environment. We’ve got a great veterinary team and then when you look beyond that – we have a cattery, treatment facility and all of these places filled with caring, kind and fun people who are all trying to do their best for the animals. It’s such a great pleasure to be able to come into work every day and work with that team. We’re excited to once again show RTE viewers the work that we do.”

Joanne McKenna from Purina PetCare added: “As the official pet food and nutritional partner of the DSPCA for over a decade, we at the Purina PetCare are delighted, through the sponsorship of the series, to continue to help the charity tell its story. The veterinary team and volunteers do incredible work as they care for and nourish animals at their Centre. We see it as our responsibility to raise awareness of the importance of animal wellbeing and quality nutrition which is why we are proud to support such a deserving cause. This season, viewers have lots to look forward to as show shares all the emotion and joy that take place at the heart of the charity’s work every day”.

The DSPCA, a registered charity, is dedicated to the promotion of animal welfare and the protection and rehabilitation of sick, abused or neglected animals. Located on a 32-acre site in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, the DSPCA campus offers shelter and care to a wide variety of animals. In fact, the organisation rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes over 2,500 animals each year – domestic and wildlife.

The DSPCA has a dedicated and trained force of Animal Welfare Inspectors to investigate complaints of cruelty and neglect, to provide guidance and education to animal owners, initiate prosecutions for offences and attend to sick and injured stray animals or those which have been abandoned.

The DSPCA Vet Team works seven days a week providing critical care, carrying out lifesaving surgeries and performing over 3,000 neuter/spay operations annually. They also provide ongoing care and veterinary support to over 300 animals in the DSPCA Foster Programme.

The DSPCA also works closely with the Irish Government to keep legislation updated and implemented to further improve the lives of all animals. Founded in 1840, the DSPCA is Ireland’s oldest and largest animal welfare organisation.

The Shelter: Animal SOS airs on Friday, 20th May at 7:30 pm on RTÉ One


An Encore Media Production for RTE.


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Twitter: @DublinSPCA


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