8th February 2024
WARNING SOME IMAGES MAY CAUSE UPSET
At Kilkenny District Court on Tuesday 23rd January 2024, a man from Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny admitted four charges under sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA).
The case arose from an inspection of the defendant’s premises by ISPCA Senior Inspector Fiona Conlon on Tuesday 20th December 2022, when four Yorkshire Terrier dogs were found living in horrendous conditions.
Giving evidence to the Court Senior Inspector Conlon described how she found the dogs living in stables hidden away down a lane way by the dwelling house behind a padlocked gate and galvanised fencing. The stables were covered with excrement, old white moulding faeces interspersed with fresher faeces. There was an overpowering smell of faeces and urine.
The dogs were also extremely fearful showing signs that they had very little socialisation and were difficult to catch. When they were secured, Ms Conlon saw that they were also in terrible condition, being severely matted and smelly, with bald patches revealing irritated skin, and they had stinking breath.
Ms Conlon described how the defendant told her that the dogs were his deceased father’s dogs and that he had bred the dogs to keep the line. But, when asked when his father died, he replied that it was in 2008.
The dogs were surrendered and taken for immediate veterinary assessment where they were found to have very poor skin and coats, and advanced dental disease, so severe that one dog’s tooth fell out during the veterinary examination, and three of the dogs were booked in for urgent dental treatment two days later. They were administered with pain relief, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.
Looking at photographs provided by Senior Inspector Conlon, Judge Geraldine Carty said that they made unhappy viewing, and that the facts of the case were stark. The animals were in a chronic state of neglect and the court was satisfied that the dogs would have been neglected for a very long period of time.
Judge Carty imposed a disqualification order for all dogs apart from a single pet dog, which the defendant was permitted to keep for the remainder of its life but cannot replace. She also imposed a fine of €500 on each of four summonses and ordered that the accused pay €1,221 ISPCA costs and €1,000 towards prosecution costs.
Speaking after the case Senior Inspector Conlon said: “The condition of these four little dogs and their living environment was horrendous. They were commercial entities, used for breeding. None of the dogs had ever seen a vet and, from their fear, they had very little human interaction. Thankfully these dogs are now in loving homes. If you are thinking of getting a dog, please consider rescuing, there are so many dogs in Ireland right now looking for homes, let’s make “Rescued” our favourite breed”.
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