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Kilkenny man jailed for cruelty to a terrier dog

The ISPCA welcomes a second custodial sentence imposed under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA) in the space of four days.

On Monday 4th December 2017, in Clonmel District Court, a man with an address at Turkstown, Co. Kilkenny was sentenced to two months imprisonment after pleading guilty to neglecting, or being reckless, regarding the health and welfare of a Patterdale terrier dog.  The dog had severe injuries to its nose and jaw described in court as “consistent with some form of animal fighting”.


The case originated from a report to the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline from a member of the public who was concerned for the welfare of several dogs.

ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey visited the defendant’s property on Friday 8th January 2016 accompanied by Gardaí from Kilkenny Station.  A number of dogs were found on the property and Inspector Lacey was particularly concerned about one male Patterdale Terrier with severe injuries to his lower jaw and nose. 


The dog was immediately seized and brought to the City Vets in Waterford City for urgent veterinary assessment. It was the opinion of the attending veterinary surgeon that the dog had not received appropriate treatment for its horrific injuries. The vet also believed that the injuries had been sustained over a period of time with a number of separate events contributing to the trauma to the dog’s face. 

Vet William Smith told the court that “there was no evidence of treatment given to the dog prior to the 8th of January” and that “the injuries were aesthetically horrendous” adding “The jaw showed no evidence of surgery, and no sign of stitches”.  


In imposing sentence, Judge Water said that “taking into account the injuries of the dog and more importantly the attitude of the defendant” he was imposing a “meaningful custodial sentence”. He said that the “veterinary evidence was clear” and was a “serious aggravating factor”.

Inspector Lacey commented: “The dog’s owner failed to seek veterinary treatment and had no regard for the suffering caused to this defenceless dog which would have endured extreme pain over a prolonged period of time. I would like to thank City Vets and the Waterford SPCA for their assistance in this case”.

Despite the best efforts of vets and care staff, the dog did not respond to treatment and had severe respiratory problems as a result of the injuries. Based on veterinary advice, he was euthanised on welfare grounds to prevent further suffering. 

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

The ISPCA would like to thank our affiliated member Waterford SPCA for co-funding an ISPCA Inspector allowing us to deal with animal welfare offences in the area. Without this support we could not have been able to increase our coverage within Ireland.

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