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Carlow woman disqualified for life from keeping dogs

On Thursday 2nd May, at Carlow District Court, a woman with an address in The Lawns, Willow Park, Carlow was disqualified for life from keeping dogs having earlier entered guilty pleas to four charges under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA). The charges related to three dogs removed from her possession in September 2022. 

The matter was previously before the court on 1st February last when ISPCA Senior Inspector Fiona Conlon gave evidence. She described how a female Golden Labrador was found straying and handed into a local vet clinic on 20th September 2022. The dog was very underweight, so Ms Conlon was contacted and attended the vet clinic the next day to view the dog.

The dog was registered to the accused and Senior Inspector Conlon called to her address. There she found another two dogs in poor condition – a black female Labrador and a female Brindle Belgian Malinois. All three dogs were surrendered over to the care of the ISPCA and taken for veterinary assessment where all were deemed to be emaciated. One dog was in such a poor state it was admitted to the clinic for treatment. All the dogs made full recoveries gaining weight over the following weeks under the care of the ISPCA. One dog gained over two thirds of its original weight.

In mitigation, the solicitor for the accused indicated to the court that her client was going through a very difficult period in her life. Judge Geraldine Carthy acknowledged the apology given by the accused but disqualified her from keeping dogs for life. She also suggested that she arrange to contribute some volunteer work hours for a local animal welfare charity. 

On 2nd May, the court heard that the accused had completed over 145 volunteer hours and an application was made for the lifetime ban to be amended. Judge Carthy refused the application and said that her order stood. In addition to the disqualification, the accused is to pay total costs of almost €1,100.

Reflecting on the case Senior Inspector Conlon said: “These dogs should never have gotten into the bad conditions they did. Help is always only a phone call away, whether it be to family member, friends, or an animal welfare organisation. There is just no excuse. Whilst having empathy for people struggling, my duty is to the animals first and foremost. And those not fulfilling the duty of care they owe their pets will be held accountable”.

ISPCA Animal Welfare Inspectors continue to work tirelessly to remove animals from terrible situations, just like this one. A kind donation will help the ISPCA continue our vital rescue work and care for many more neglected, abused, and cruelly treated animals. If you can, please donate online here today.

Please continue to report any animal welfare concerns, by calling the ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 0818 515 515, report online at: www.ispca.ie/cruelty_complaint or email helpline@ispca.ie.  Thank you.

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