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ISPCA launch Inspectorate Report highlighting 3,000 investigations of animal cruelty in 2015

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) has launched their Inspectorate Report for 2015 highlighting more than 15,000 calls made to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline resulting in 3,000 investigations, 1,100 animals seized or surrendered and 35 prosecutions instigated under the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling and vet Pete Wedderburn with Inspector Dowling's rescue dog Bailey 

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: “The report highlights the work of the ISPCA’s team of trained, professional Inspectors and focuses on ISPCA initiated prosecutions finalised in the courts in 2015. While our officers find a solution to most problems by working with animal owners, when serious instances of cruelty, neglect or abuse are uncovered we feel that those responsible should be held accountable in the courts”.

ISPCA Inspectors carried out over 3,000 investigations last year mostly working with pet owners to improve animal welfare concerns.  However, in some cases prosecutions were instigated under the Animal Health and Welfare Act which came into force in March 2014.  This legislation was a huge step forward for animal welfare in Ireland. Not only does it demand higher standards of animal welfare and places a duty of care on animal owners, it also means the ISPCA is now uniquely placed to investigate allegations of cruelty to domestic animals and Inspectors can now report their findings directly to the Department of Agriculture as a prosecuting body.

The ISPCA has a total of eight authorised Inspectors (one Chief and seven Inspectors) covering 17 counties and working with 19 affiliated member societies nationwide. ISPCA Inspectors are at the forefront of animal welfare, they respond to allegations of cruelty, neglect and abuse and also aid sick and injured animals. 

The ISPCA operates two rescue and rehabilitation centres which were developed in order to support the ISPCA Inspectorate and member societies with the rescue, rehabilitation and responsible re-homing of cruelly treated and neglected animals.

The ISPCA is aware of issues affecting charities, but we would appeal to the public to keep supporting our efforts to stamp out animal cruelty. You can find more information about our work here on our website. If you would like to make a donation you can do so here, or if you need to report cruelty in confidence, please do so here. 

WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES and stories in this report may be upsetting.  Unfortunately this is the reality of what ISPCA Inspectors encounter on a regular basis. You can view the report here. 

You can also listen back to ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling on Newstalk with Chris Donoghue and Sarah McInerney here, just skip a few minutes in.

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