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Five animal cruelty convictions recorded in one week as a result of ISPCA investigations.

6th March 2024

The ISPCA Inspectorate has never been busier than since lockdown with record numbers of animals seized and case files submitted in 2023.

The results of the hard work of Animal Welfare Inspectors are now being seen in the courts with five convictions for animal welfare offences recorded in one week alone last month.


On Tuesday 20th February 2024, a 51-year-old Tipperary woman appeared before Thurles District Court having admitted charges under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA) in relation to four Cavachon dogs removed from her property in July 2022. She was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service in lieu of a three-month custodial sentence, disqualified from keeping dogs for 5 years and made a €150 contribution towards prosecution costs.

On the same day, at Mallow District Court, a couple from Cork were banned from owning dogs for 10 years, fined €1,000, and ordered to pay total costs of over €3,000 after being convicted. The 36-year-old man and 33-year-old woman from Cork had admitted ten offences each under the AHWA in connection with two West Highland Terriers, named Hunter and Muttley, removed by the ISPCA in September 2022. 

On Wednesday 21st February 2024, at Arklow District Court, a 60-year-old Wicklow woman was sentenced to three months imprisonment having been convicted on charges relating to nine horses removed from her care in late July and early August 2022. In addition to the custodial sentence, she was disqualified from keeping all animals for life, fined €5,000, and ordered to pay a €500 contribution to ISPCA costs and €6,441.15 in costs incurred by the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT).

Also on Wednesday 21st February, a 78-year-old-man from Cork was fined €1,000 and had an order imposed disqualifying him for life from keeping any animals (except for 20 or less sheep, 1 working sheepdog and 1 donkey) after admitting 10 offences under the AHWA.  View more ISPCA rescue cases on our website news section here:

These court outcomes brought to 14 the total of number of convictions under the Animal Health and Welfare Act in 2024 that resulted directly from the actions of ISPCA Inspectors operating as authorised officers under the act. The convictions are for various offences relating to animal cruelty, neglect, and mutilation, as well as obstruction of an authorised officer.


They resulted in the imposition of 4 custodial sentences totalling 15 months, an order to complete 100 hours of community service, and 13 disqualification orders. In addition, a total of €14,400 in fines have been handed down and the defendants have been ordered to pay a combined €26,551.53 in costs.


“The job of an ISPCA Inspector is a difficult one, witnessing harrowing scenes of animal cruelty and dealing with sometimes difficult individuals” said ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling, “but these outcomes clearly demonstrate that we are having a positive impact, and we hope that they will act as a deterrent to others who may be inclined to neglect or deliberately harm an animal”.

He added “Most of these cases were prosecuted by the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine and all were made possible by the fact that our Inspectors are appointed as authorised officers with the consent of the Minister. We thank him for his continued trust and support”.

The ISPCA work tirelessly rescuing animals that need to be removed from the most terrible situations and we need support now more than ever before. A kind donation will help the ISPCA continue to rescue and care for neglected animals and find them new loving homes. If you can, please donate online at 




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