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Horrific case of animal neglect, fifteen year disqualification from keeping animals imposed

A County Wicklow woman has been disqualified from keeping animals for a period of fifteen years after admitting three offences under sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 at Arklow District Court on 14th February 2018.

In addition, Judge David Kennedy fined the accused a total of €1000 and she also produced €881.20 to cover ISPCA expenses.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling described to the court how he called to the womans home on Tuesday 27th September 2016 and discovered a male German Shepherd dog that was clearly underweight with its bones protruding.

The dog was also suffering from a severe skin condition over much of its body and its ears were infected and discharging.


Chief Inspector Dowling said: “The dog was obviously in distress, shaking its head and attempting to scratch continually”. 

Mr Dowling further described how the dog was removed to a veterinary surgeon and treated for a number of days. But that later x-rays revealed chronic hip problems and the dog was euthanised based on veterinary advice. In response to a question from Judge Kennedy on how long it would have taken for the dog to deteriorate to this condition, the Chief Inspector replied that the evidence suggested that the skin condition had been developing for in excess of two years.

When the accused took the stand and expressed her remorse and shame at how she had allowed her dog’s condition to get to such a state, Judge Kennedy asked: “Why didn’t you bring him to a vet?”

On sentencing, Judge Kennedy remarked that the dog had endured “horrendous suffering which could have been easily avoided”

“It is hard to imagine the torment that this dog must have experienced continually over a prolonged period of time” commented Chief Inspector Dowling, “While today’s outcome cannot undo his suffering, it will hopefully send out a message as to the potential consequences if pet owners fail to adequately deal with any health issues that may affect their animals.


It is not acceptable to stick your head in the sand and just hope the problem goes away. What makes the case doubly sad is that the dog had a wonderful temperament and it’s a real shame that he couldn’t be successfully rehabilitated”.

Members of the public should continue to report animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or report cruelty online in confidence on

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