On 23rd March 2017 in Cashel District Court, a woman from Kilbraugh, Thurles, Co Tipperary was convicted on five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs. She was fined €2500 and ordered to pay €1,108 in vet costs and €1000 legal costs.
The case related to a visit made by ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey to the defendant’s property on 7th December 2015 to investigate allegations that a number of dogs at the property were in poor condition.
Inspector Lacey discovered five dogs, a Pomeranian, three black Labrador crosses and a Saluki, living in horrendous conditions confined to a filthy pen without access to water, food or adequate shelter. The dogs were all underweight for their breed and size and two of the younger puppies had a heavy worm burden. All five dogs were signed over to the care of the ISPCA and immediately removed for a veterinary examination.
The Pomeranian, named Hector by rescuers, had an extremely badly matted coat and was covered in faeces. His condition was so bad that Inspector Lacey was initially unable to distinguish his breed and he had to be completely shaved under sedation. A veterinary examination also revealed that he had lost all of his teeth except for two. This little dog required an extensive period of rehabilitation.
ISPCA Inspector Lacey said, “The living conditions these dogs were kept in were horrendous and animal neglect will not be tolerated. Pet owners have a legal responsibility to provide appropriate care for their animals. If owners are unable to care for their animals appropriately, our Inspectors will provide advice or give instruction however, in certain circumstances animals will be seized and we will instigate legal proceedings in serious cases.
All of the dogs have since been responsibly rehomed following their rescue and rehabilitation.
Members of the public should continue to report animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or report online in confidence here.
The ISPCA believes that the right balance of enforcement and education will result in long term changes in attitudes towards animal welfare in Ireland. We would like to see animal welfare taught as part of the national school curriculum so that one day we can end cruelty to all animals.
The ISPCA has as a total of eight authorised Inspectors (one Chief, two Senior and five Inspectors) covering 17 counties and working with 19 affiliated member societies nationwide.
Last year, 16,312 calls were made to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline resulting in over 3,200 investigations, 995 animals were seized or surrendered, 32 prosecutions initiated resulting in 15 finalised in court, compared to nine in 2015. The Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) came into force three years ago on 6th March 2014. Since then the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline has received over 53,000 calls. ISPCA Inspectors have carried out 11,065 investigations and over 2,795 animals were seized or surrendered. A total of 92 prosecutions have been initiated, 25 of which have been finalised in court to-date. Full report here http://www.ispca.ie/ispca_inspectorate/
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