Thalia Heffernan launches Visa ‘tap to give’ initiative for the DSPCA with all funds raised going to changing a dog’s life this Christmas

Visa has launched its ‘tap to give’ charity initiative in Kildare Village, with all proceeds going to the DSPCA (Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). All day throughout Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December, Visa is gave passers-by the opportunity to tap their Visa contactless cards on interactive screens to securely donate €4 to help change a dog’s life this Christmas. The DSPCA is also using the contactless fundraiser as a platform to announce its first ever charity ambassador, Ireland’s top model, Thalia Heffernan.


The DSPCA, established in 1840, is now Ireland’s largest animal welfare organisation. The charity looks after sick, injured and cruelly-treated animals. 2017 has seen more animals than ever needing the services of the DSPCA due to a large increase in the numbers of abandoned and unwanted puppies in Ireland. Today the DSPCA currently cares for 56 puppies, along with many adult dogs, cats and horses, all of which the charity is looking to rehouse.


The DSPCA and Visa chose to conduct the Kildare Village fundraiser in the run-up to Christmas since this is a time of the year when many dogs are abandoned and support is most needed. Over 100,000 people are expected to visit Kildare Village this week, making it the optimum time for people to ‘tap and give’ to the DSPCA. This initiative was inspired by Visa’s current Christmas TV advertising campaign which captures the happiness that dogs bring to people’s lives.


Philip Konopik, Country Manager, Ireland at Visa, said: “Irish consumers have really taken to contactless payments in recent years with the result that one in three of all face-to-face payments in Ireland is contactless. Now that people are comfortable using their contactless cards and mobile phones to pay in shops and restaurants, we want to encourage them to tap and give to a hugely deserving charity this Christmas. The work the DSPCA does to help homeless, sick or abandoned animals, as well as fight to prevent animal abuse, is truly incredible and we’re delighted to support them.”


Speaking about this initiative by Visa and her appointment as the DSPCA’s first ever ambassador, Thalia Heffernan said: “I have the DSPCA to thank for saving my Leonard-Bowie as a puppy and bringing him into my life. On behalf of so many of us across Dublin, I can safely say that the DSPCA have changed not only these animal’s lives, but their owners’ lives too. I feel completely honoured and humbled at being asked to be the first ever DSPCA ambassador, and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to further their message. As a lover of all animals I stand by everything the DSPCA do, and this is a real privilege for me.”


Brian Gillen, DSPCA CEO, said: “We are delighted to work with Visa on our Christmas fundraising campaign. We know that contactless is the faster and easier way to pay, so it is incredible to see that same technology being used to donate. We are also over the moon to announce our new brand ambassador today, Thalia Heffernan. I first met Thalia when she rescued her own dog from the DSPCA last Christmas. It is instantly recognisable how much she loves animals. Thalia’s love and respect for all creatures will make her an incredible ambassador for the DSPCA”.

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