Tipperary woman convicted for possessing stolen dog

Three dogs, one of which was deceased, were found in a concrete yard to the back which was covered in dog faeces, plastic, and various other types of rubbish.

A woman appeared before Carrick-on-Suir district court in County Tipperary on Thursday 1st July 2021 charged with handling stolen property, contrary to section 17 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001.

The case arose from a visit made No. 1 Willow Close, Carrick-On-Suir, Co. Tipperary on Wednesday 22nd April 2020 by ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey at the request of the local dog warden. Inspector Lacey described to the court how she saw three dogs, one of which was deceased, in a concrete yard to the back which was covered in dog faeces, plastic, and various other types of rubbish.

She said that there was also raw meat scattered throughout the yard and the smell was putrid.

Local Gardaí were contacted and Garda Shane Roche attended the scene. Inspector Lacey seized all three dogs. Neither of the live dogs, a female brindle Whippet and a female black hairy Lurcher, were microchipped but a microchip was detected in the deceased dog, another Whippet. On running the microchip number, Inspector Lacey found that this dog’s name was Stan and that he had been reported lost, suspected to have been stolen.

The court also heard from the dog’s owner who described how Stan went missing on 1st November 2019 along with another dog. Stan’s companion arrived home around 10 days later but they never saw Stan again.

Inspector Lacey also described how the accused made contact with the ISPCA in response to notices left at 1 Willow Close, and how she later spoke with the woman by telephone. In the course of the conversation the accused claimed, while under caution, that she had hand-reared the deceased dog from two days old with a bottle and milk. She also stated that she was no longer living at 1 Willow Close but was returning daily to feed the dogs.

Giving evidence in her defence, the woman stated that the dog she said she had hand-reared was one of the other dogs. She claimed to have bought Stan through an online advert but could not identify the seller stating that the dog was delivered to her home. She asserted that she didn’t know that the dog was stolen and would have returned it if she had. The accused also claimed that she had brought Stan to a vet to be treated for mange but could not explain why he was not scanned for a microchip during the examination.

Saying that he was taking the evidence of Inspector Lacey in its full totality, Judge John O’Leary convicted the woman. He said that she had been reckless in her behaviour and that he would have imposed a custodial sentence only for the fact that the accused has a three-year-old son.

Judge O’Leary adjourned the case until 7th October by which time he said the accused must pay Mr Redmond €500. Mr Redmond addressed the court to say that he would prefer that the money went to the ISPCA.

“This case emphasises the value of having your dog microchipped” commented Inspector Lacey, “while we were not able to reunite Stan with his beloved owners at least there was some form of justice for him and them. If he had not been microchipped today’s conviction would not have been possible and Stan’s owners would never have known what became of him. Thankfully there was a happier outcome for the other two dogs that were seized which found loving new homes”.

“I would like to thank the Redmond’s, we know how traumatic it is for people when a cherished pet is stolen” added Inspector Lacey, “I would also like to thank Garda Roche for his assistance and for putting today’s case forward”.

The ISPCA works in collaboration with our affiliated member Waterford SPCA who provide kennelling, care and rehabilitation for dogs seized or surrendered. Without this vital logistical support, the ISPCA would not be able to operate effectively in the Waterford area.

Our frontline work cannot stop during these uncertain times and there are many more vulnerable animals who need to be rescued. If you would like to help the ISPCA continue this vital work, rescuing Ireland’s most vulnerable animals, please if you can, make a kind donation here to help the animals that are suffering now.

The ISPCA encourages members of the public to continue reporting any animal welfare concerns online here or by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 0818 515 515 or by emailing [email protected].

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