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Appeal Unveils Disturbing Conditions: Cork Puppy Farm Owner Faces Closure Over Breeding Violations

The ISPCA welcomes the decision at Mallow District Court yesterday to dismiss an appeal by a Dog Breeding Establishment operator against a closure notice imposed by Cork County Council. The council had ordered the closure of her puppy farm after finding that she had exceeded her breeding quota. The court heard that the defendant failed to comply with the council's order to reduce the number of breeding bitches. The closure notice was issued due to the breeding establishment posing a serious and immediate threat to animal welfare, as evidenced by the conditions in which the dogs were found. Vet Mairead Wallace Pigott testifies that the dogs had a strong ammonia smell, suggesting they had been lying in their own urine. She highlights issues such as wet coats, ulcerative lesions, matting, faecal material in fur, eye, ear, and teeth problems, and poor body condition scores.

The ISPCA would like to commend Cork Co Co and its Veterinary Inspectors on their resilience and commitment and was glad to be able to assist throughout the process by providing the expertise of our Inspectors and aiding in the removal and rehoming of seized dogs.


The ISPCA believes that enhanced standards of care should apply to premises where dogs are bred for profit and where puppies that will be sold into family homes are reared. This establishment was not operating anywhere close to the standards that the ISPCA would consider satisfactory. In fact, veterinary examinations revealed a variety of health and welfare issues to which dogs removed from the premises were subjected.

While recognising everybody’s right to legal recourse, the protracted nature of this case demonstrates how difficult and costly it is for any local authority to take action under current legislation. The ISPCA is calling for a drastic overhaul of the laws governing dog breeding.

As a society, we in Ireland have to examine our attitudes to dog ownership and dog breeding. We have to question if it is right to have establishments housing up to 500 dogs producing puppies as domestic pets. 

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