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Portlaoise Woman Banned from Keeping Dogs

Greyhound on road to recovery

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A woman was convicted of animal cruelty at a special sitting of Portlaoise District Court today. The charges related to large numbers of dogs which she kept in appalling conditions at a rented house in, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois.

A total of 46 dogs, predominantly Greyhound and Saluki types, were removed from the property by ISPCA personnel. On Thursday 13th March, 19 dogs were found in a yard strewn with a deep layer of faeces and old animal bones. These dogs were removed on veterinary advice and a further 8 were handed over by the accused. In addition to their desperate living conditions many of these dogs were found to have serious injuries from fighting.

In the course of further searches it was discovered that many more dogs were being kept in squalid conditions within the house and 19 more were removed on Wednesday 9th April. All of the dogs have since been held at ISPCA and DSPCA kennels.

The court heard ISPCA and Garda witnesses describe how the conditions within the house were so bad through the build up of faeces and urine that they caused eyes to water uncontrollably and made breathing difficult. Two cameras would not operate in the house and it is believed that this was due to the high levels of ammonia in the atmosphere.

In her defence, which she conducted herself; the accused claimed that she was rescuing the dogs. Judge Haughton said that he had no hesitation in convicting her, adding that in all his time on the bench he had never seen anything like this situation.

Judge Haughton imposed fines of €500 and banned the accused from owning, keeping or being in charge of any dog or dogs for the remainder of her life. He also imposed an order allowing the ISPCA to re-home the 46 dogs which had been removed and held.

Greyhounds in cruelty case

Greyhound Rescued


ISPCA Inspector Brendan Hughes said "We are very pleased that this case has been brought to a successful conclusion and that the dogs involved can now be found new permanent homes. The conditions in which these dogs were living were the worst that I have ever come across. There were huge piles of faeces in the house and it was almost impossible to breathe due to the stench".

The ISPCA has appealed for offers for homes for the dogs concerned and is also appealing for financial assistance since the cost of housing so many dogs for several weeks has placed a severe burden on the charity's meagre resources.

Anybody wishing to offer assistance should contact the ISPCA at National Animal Centre, Derryglogher, Keenagh, Co. Longford, phone (043) 25035) or email

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