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Tipperary man admits offences under Animal Health and Welfare Act

On Tuesday 6th June, a man with an address at Fethard, Co. Tipperary admitted two offences under sections 11 and 13 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act at Clonmel District Court.

The case related to an aged female black and white Staffordshire bull terrier that was reported to be abandoned at a property at Ballylanigan, Rocks Road, Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary in March 2016. The dog was initially removed to PAWS Animal Rescue before being taken into the care of the ISPCA. Veterinary examinations found the dog to be “extremely thin and undernourished” weighing only 14.6 kilograms. Growths on the dog’s abdomen and leg were also noted. 

Investigations by ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey identified the accused as the owner of the dog. In a cautioned interview he claimed that, although he was no longer living at the property at Ballylanigan full time, he had been visiting and feeding the dog daily. He admitted that he had noticed the dog, whose name was Miller, was losing weight in recent months but had failed to seek veterinary treatment.

Judge Lucey commented in court that “animals are at the mercy of their owners and the accused has found himself in a very serious position being here today”. Convicting the man of failing to safeguard the health and welfare of the dog and taking into consideration his guilty plea, the fact that he was on social welfare, and his lack of previous convictions, Judge Lucey imposed a fine of €250 and ordered him to pay €600 in ISPCA costs and contribute €250 towards legal costs. 

ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey said: “Animal ownership is a responsibility and people have a legal duty to care for their animals whatever circumstances might arise. The ISPCA does not tolerate any form of cruelty, neglect or ill-treatment of any animals”.

Miller was surrendered to the ISPCA but further veterinary assessment determined that treatment of the “several significant masses” under her abdomen and on her hind legs was not in the best interests of the welfare of the animal. Miller was euthanised on humane grounds.

Thanks to ISPCA affiliated member Waterford SPCA for co-funding an animal welfare Inspector to cover Waterford and South Tipperary.  Without this support, the ISPCA could not have increased our coverage to 17 counties in Ireland.  Please find our Inspectorate Report 2016 here where two of the cases highlighted were initiated by Inspector Lacey who was employed by Waterford SPCA before joining the ISPCA in 2015

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 cruelty online in confidence on www.ispca.ie

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