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Carlow man sentenced to four months imprisonment after admitting animal welfare offences.

15th February 2024

At Carlow District Court on Thursday 1st February 2024, a man from Kilcarrig, Bagnalstown, Co. Carlow, was convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to four months imprisonment.

In addition, Judge Geraldine Carthy imposed a lifetime ban from keeping dogs, fined him €2,000 and ordered that he pay a further €3,791.78 in ISPCA costs and €1,000 in Ministerial Prosecutions costs.

The court had previously heard evidence on the matter on 4th January 2024, when ISPCA Senior Inspector Fiona Conlon gave evidence of conducting two inspections of the premises, in June and July 2021, in the course of which a total of 19 dogs were removed.

Ms Conlon described calling to the property on 21st June 2021, along with ISPCA Senior Inspector Alice Lacey and finding 24 dogs - including Greyhounds, Jack Russell Terriers, a Rottweiler and a Beagle cross - some of which were living in poor conditions. One Greyhound was shut in a dog trailer, a Jack Russell was confined in a small wooden dog kennel, and other dogs were in dirty sheds with poor ventilation and little natural light. Some of the dogs did not have access to water.

In addition to the environmental concerns, a number of physical welfare issues affecting some of the dogs were identified. Several of the dogs were emaciated, and others had pressure sores, dental problems, and overgrown nails. Ms Conlon told the court that the 12 most impacted dogs were initially seized. She met with the accused two days later, at which time he surrendered the seized dogs and gave commitments to rehome any remaining dogs, until he could commit the necessary time to their care.

However, when Ms Conlon returned on 8th July 2021, she found more dogs in dirty kennels and dark unventilated sheds, some without access to water. A further seven dogs were initially seized and subsequently surrendered.

Judge Carthy adjourned the case for one month to allow a follow up visit to confirm that the accused currently had no dogs in his possession and to consider a sentence.

On passing sentence, Judge Carthy stated that this case was one of the most serious cases she had dealt with during her time as a District Court Judge, in the Carlow District. She said that the evidence of Ms Conlon was stark, and that the most aggravating factor here, was the level of neglect and the number of dogs involved. 

“As ISPCA Animal Welfare Inspectors, we aim to act as a voice for the voiceless and try to ensure that there is justice for animals that are subjected to neglect or mistreatment”, commented Senior Inspector Conlon, “There are consequences for those that commit animal welfare offences but, in this case, had the defendant delivered on the commitments that he gave after my first visit, the consequences may not have been so severe”.

The ISPCA is encouraging members of the public to continue to report any animal welfare concerns, by calling the ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 0818 515 515, report online here or email helpline@ispca.ie.

Animal Welfare Inspectors work tirelessly to remove animals from terrible situations, just like this one. A kind donation will help the ISPCA continue to rescue and care for many more neglected, abused, and cruelly treated animals, and find them new homes where they are loved and cared for.   If you can, please donate online today here. Thank you.

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