More than 15,000 calls were made last year to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline run by the ISPCA. The calls resulted in 3,000 investigations, 1,100 animals seized or surrendered and 35 prosecutions under the Animal Health and Welfare Act.
ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: "While our officers find a solution to most problems by working with animal owners, when serious instances of cruelty, neglect or abuse are uncovered we feel that those responsible should be held accountable in the courts."
The cases included:
ROSCOMMON: A litter of four week old terrier puppies with cut (“docked”) tails. A vet had not been involved in cutting the tails. The puppies were surrendered into the care of the ISPCA and were rehomed. This was the first case to be taken for this offence less than a month after the commencement of the legislation which outlawed the docking of puppies’ tails and the removal of dew claws by a lay-person.
The defendants were ordered to pay a total of €250 to the ISPCA.
WICKLOW: The discovery of a young lurcher dog which had died from parvovirus. The dog had not received any veterinary attention resulting in a slow lingering death. There were also numerous other dogs on the halting site on short chains.
A €150 fine was imposed and an order made limiting the number of dogs to one per adult or a maximum of five dogs on the halting site.
CORK: 23 dogs were found living in squalid conditions and in varying degrees of neglect. They were forced to live in filthy cramped conditions with copious amounts of faeces and urine. Some dogs were found hidden in a cattle trailer some distance away from the dwelling.
One of the dogs presented with 95% hair loss and its skin was thickened and crusted as a result of long term lack of care. The water that was present was filthy and contaminated. All dogs were un-socialised and, even under sedation, showed signs of aggression.
Judge Brian Sheridan was appalled by the evidence presented to him and stated it was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty he has seen in his career.
Case adjourned pending further inspections and monitoring.
KILKENNY: An ISPCA investigation led to the discovery of a number of Collie dogs living in deplorable conditions in a farmyard. One female collie dog was tethered on a chain just 15 inches in length
and unable to reach two of her three puppies. As a result, they were very cold to the touch and were immediately seized for veterinary assessment. The owner admitted that there had originally been seven puppies in the litter, four of which had died. All dogs were taken into the care of the ISPCA for rehabilitation and have since been responsibly rehomed.
Ordered to pay €5,000 in costs and €1,000 donation to Kilkenny SPCA.
Prosecutions were instigated under the Animal Health and Welfare Act which came into force in March 2014, meaning the ISPCA can now investigate allegations of cruelty to domestic animals and Inspectors and report their findings directly to the Department of Agriculture as a prosecuting body..
Each year it costs €1.4m to run ISPCA services, and almost 90% of this comes from public donations. Donations and funds raised from events go directly to helping support the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline 1890 515 515 which receives over 15,000 calls annually.
The ISPCA has eight professionally trained ISPCA Inspectors preventing cruelty to animals, investigating approximately 3,000 cases of animal abuse every year and rescuing a large number of animals from appalling conditions.
To report cruelty, abuse or neglect of an animal, contact the ISPCA National Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ispca.ie.