ANIMAL lovers were shocked to receive an email from the Limerick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LSPCA) this week stating that the charity was closing down after 130 years of service in the city.

The mail which claimed to have been sent by LSPCA chairperson Geraldine Nardone stated that “after shareholder meeting, we’re closing down LSPCA with immediate effect” and redirected further correspondence to the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

However, it turned out that the mail sent from the LSPCA’s account was a hoax. The organisation reassured the Limerick Post that it became aware of its website being compromised by a number of hacking incidents in recent weeks.

They are working with its technical advisors about how best to solve the problem and to prevent any similar attacks in the future. The hacking of their website and email has also been reported to the Gardaí.

Ms Nardone insists that the daily work of the charity continues despite efforts by some individuals to compromise that work, and to undermine its profile.

“We want the public to be assured that the work we have been doing for the past 130 years continues. Only last week, we attended a conference with other animal welfare groups and spoke to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney about the Animal Welfare Bill,” she said.

“The LSPCA would like to confirm to the public that it is still very much in business, and continues its work promoting the welfare of animals, and acting in every way it can, at a policy and practical level, to end cruelty to animals, which is all too common and frequent,” she concluded.