Carlow woman banned from keeping animals for life for leaving dogs to starve to death

"These two dogs were barricaded into a shed and deprived of the basic requirements to live, food and water"

*WARNING* Images are of graphic nature and may cause upset

At Carlow District Court on Thursday 2nd December 2021, a woman with an address at Tullow, Co. Carlow was disqualified from keeping animals for life, after pleading guilty to 12 offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA).

In addition to the disqualification, Judge Cephas Power imposed a five month custodial sentence, suspended for one year and ordered that she pay a total of €1,550 in court and ISPCA costs.

ISPCA Inspector Fiona Conlon told the court that she visited a vacant property in Tullow, Co. Carlow on Christmas Eve 2019. She described seeing a small rusty coloured terrier running loose and then a shed with its door and windows blocked up and tightly secured. It took Fiona several minutes to remove the blocks and tape holding the door closed in order to gain entry to the shed.

Inside she made a grim discovery, the remains of two dead dogs. There was a larger Doberman cross and a white/fawn terrier, both of which Fiona described as bony, gaunt and visibly undernourished. There were empty containers but no food or water present. There was a huge pile of moulding faeces in the middle of the floor and the stench was horrendous.

Inspector Conlon removed the live dog and the two deceased dogs and brought them to a local vet. A post-mortem showed that the deceased dogs were dehydrated and emaciated with no body fat and no food in their stomachs prior to their deaths.

Acting on behalf of the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, William Maher BA asked Inspector Conlon how she would rate the seriousness of the offences. Inspector Conlon stated that the dogs would have died horrendous deaths, they were locked in a shed with no food or water and left there to starve.

On passing sentence, Judge Power said that the photographs produced in evidence and the vocal presentation of Inspector Conlon showed the gravity of the suffering the animals endured saying that it was “at the top end of the scale”. He imposed a five month custodial sentence but, taking into account the woman’s guilty plea and the fact that she was a first time offender, he suspended the sentence for 12 months.

ISPCA Inspector Conlon commented: “As Animal Welfare Inspectors, we find dogs that are thin, injured or in need of veterinary care. You remove the animals from their bad situations, get them the attention they need and they have hope, hope for a better life. In this case, there was no hope, the dogs were deceased. These two dogs were barricaded into a shed and deprived of the basic requirements to live, food and water. These actions resulted in the poor dogs suffering a slow horrendous death the thoughts of which haunt me to this day”.

The ISPCA is reminding members of the public to please report any animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline online here or by calling us on 0818 515 515 or emailing [email protected].

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