Report Cruelty | Tel: 0818 515 515 (Callers from outside of Republic of Ireland should use +353 43 33 25035) | Contact Us

News Sections

Tipperary woman to carry out community service after being convicted of cruelty to dogs.

27th February 2024


On Tuesday 20th February 2024, a 51-year-old woman from Thurles, Co. Tipperary appeared before Judge Elizabeth McGrath at Thurles District Court, having previously admitted charges under sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA).

During the earlier hearing on November 21st last, ISPCA Senior Inspector Alice Lacey gave evidence of calling to the accused’s home on 19th July 2022, and viewing four Cavachon dogs that were heavily matted and most of which appeared extremely underweight. She described how the dogs were ravenous for a piece of toast that they found in a bin. On lifting one of the dogs up, Senior Inspector Lacey was completely shocked at how light the dog felt in her arms.

The defendant surrendered the dogs to the ISPCA immediately and they were taken for veterinary assessment where it was confirmed that three of the four dogs were very thin with body condition scores as low as 1 out of 5. The vet was of the view that this was the result of prolonged starvation. He was also concerned about the heavy coats as the weather was very warm on the day with temperatures in the mid-twenties Celsius.

One dog was immediately shaved to prevent it from overheating, and it was found that almost 9% of its original weight was hair that was removed.

A probation report was presented to Judge McGrath this week which suggested that the defendant was “at a moderate risk of reoffending”. The court heard that the accused was of very limited means and was only able to raise the sum of €150 towards prosecution costs.

Convicting the defendant, Judge McGrath ordered that she complete 100 hours of community service in lieu of a three-month custodial sentence. She also imposed a disqualification order of five years from owning or having interest in any dog, stating that she felt that the accused was incapable of taking care of any dogs, at least for the next five years. And it was instructed that the €150 produced in court be handed over as a contribution towards costs.

“Emily, Ellie, Earl and Elmo turned out to be the most loving, loyal and resilient dogs, despite their previous circumstances. To see them in those conditions on that day in July 2022 stayed with me for a long time”, commented Senior Inspector Alice Lacey, “Being indifferent towards an animal’s suffering means that we feel it's okay to look the other way. Looking the other way shows a clear disregard for our legal and moral responsibility, but doing so does not make us exempt from the consequences. It can and should make us accountable for our actions”.

Please continue to support our Animal Welfare Inspectors, who work tirelessly rescuing animals from the most unimaginable circumstances by making a kind donation here:


The ISPCA asks members of the public to continue to report any animal welfare concerns, by calling the ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 0818 515 515, report online at: or email Together we can end cruelty to all animals.

Viewed 991 times.

Share This Story