The dogs - 15 pure-bred puppies and 35 fully grown - were housed in a filthy makeshift kennel made from a stack of pallets on lands in Lissarow, Grange, Ardmore.
Some of the puppies were just days old in small pens filled with excrement. The dogs included King Charles spaniels, West Highland terriers and Shih-tzus, all popular domestic pets.
Acting on a complaint by a member of the public, gardaí and inspectors from the local branch of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raided the premises on Tuesday and removed the animals to proper kennels.
“The living conditions of the dogs were totally inadequate, it was thrown together and very dirty with an atrocious smell,” said Conor Dowling, inspectorate supervisor of the ISPCA.
Gardaí confirmed the owner of the premises co-operated and surrendered the dogs into the care of the ISPCA.
No further action will be taken against him.
While the animals were not malnourished, they were neglected and in need of veterinary care.
“Their coats were not looked after and, if left for a long time, this can lead to a tightening of the skin,” Mr Dowling said.
The ISPCA suspect the older animals may have been at the site a long time, possibly over a year. “They were taken away and will be cleaned up and treated for parasites and vaccinated,” said Mr Dowling. The charity hopes to re-house the dogs after Christmas.
The Department of the Environment has set up a working group to examine the dog breeding industry, but no regulations have been issued. “The difficulty with existing legislation is that people can have a large number of dogs in unsuitable conditions, but an offence is only committed when the animal suffers,” said Mr Dowling.
Meanwhile, the ISPCA urges anyone looking to buy a dog to approach the Kennel Club, which can advise them on recommended breeders. The organisation also stressed the high costs of saving animals from cruelty and welcomes any donations to the National Animal Centre at 043-25035.