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Co Laois woman fined and banned from owning or keeping animals for 10 years

At Portlaoise District Court on Friday 15th September a 28-year-old woman (Person A), with an address in Portarlington, Co Laois, admitted offences under Sections 12 and 13 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA).


The court heard evidence of how ISPCA Inspector James McCormack called to Person A’s address on 19th January 2022 and found two dogs in poor condition. One was a Belgian shepherd shut into a small box without access to water. The box was filthy with faeces on the floor and in an empty food bowl. The dog was also in poor physical condition with its ribs protruding.

The second dog was a six-month-old French Bulldog pup locked in a small cage which was contaminated with excrement. This dog was also in poor condition with a swollen belly, prominent spine and sores on its underside.

The court was told that the two dogs were surrendered into the care of the ISPCA at that time and taken to be examined by a vet who described both dogs as “emaciated”. In court, the vet was asked by Judge Andrew Cody if the dog’s conditions could have declined quickly and was told that they would have suffered for months.

On passing sentence, Judge Cody said that he did not accept Person A’s assertion of remorse in this case. He remarked that the photographic evidence showed that both animals had endured suffering. He refused to believe that it was a short-term issue but that the two dogs in question had suffered greatly and unnecessarily over a long period of time. The Judge also noted that Person A had left it until the very last minute to enter a guilty plea and had put the state to enormous expense by not pleading guilty at the first opportunity.


Judge Cody fined Person A a total of €2000 and ordered that they pay €1000 in ISPCA and veterinary costs. He also imposed a 10-year disqualification from owning or keeping animals.


Commenting after the case, Inspector McCormack said: “This was a severe case of neglect to two dogs. The little French Bulldog weighed only two Kilograms when she was rescued and doubled her weight in just four weeks. The vet was of the opinion that these dogs had endured unnecessary suffering and neglect, and the Judge agreed. It might be a lesson for others that these acts of cruelty are being punished and hopefully will prove a deterrent for others going forward”.


The ISPCA cannot turn our back on animals that need to be removed from terrible situations like this one and we need support now more than ever before. This National Animal Week, we are asking you to help alleviate the suffering of animals. A kind donation will help the ISPCA continue to rescue and care for neglected animals and find them loving homes. If you can, please donate online at 

Be a part of the drive to say "Cruelty, no more!" and help make Ireland a place where animals are safe to live happy, healthy, love-filled lives. 

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