Suspected dog-fighting farm raided

THIRTY-FIVE dogs were recovered from rat-infested buildings after a suspected drug dealing and dog-fighting ring was smashed, gardaí revealed.

Cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis, an air pistol and ball-bearing ammunition was also recovered when gardaí raided premises on the outskirts of Tallaght, south Dublin.

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dublin SPCA), who also took part in the raid, appealed for information from the public after the “grisly discovery”.

It is suspected some of the terriers and bulldogs had been used in illegal fighting and badger baiting. Cats and dead rats were also found in outbuildings, suggesting owners were attempting to blood pups for fighting.

Inspectors from the Dublin SPCA said its welfare officers were alerted to suspected cruelty on Monday at the run-down farm.

The premises, which includes several outhouses in the Mount Seskin area at the foot of the Dublin Mountains, was raided by local gardaí and the Dublin SPCA at around 3.30pm. No-one was at home at the time and no arrests have been made.

Orla Aungier of Dublin SPCA said: “The animals were kept in the most appalling conditions. The outhouses were completely rat-infested — rat carcasses on the ground and in some of the kennels — and the stench of urine and faeces was overpowering. The shelter was inadequate, the roof was leaking.”

Appealing for information and asking for public donations, she said: “Due to the amount of rats on the premises, exposure to Weil’s disease is a real threat and each of the animals must be kept in isolation. This, coupled with the sheer number of animals needing assistance, has pushed our resources to the limit.”

Gardaí said officers recovered 10,000 ecstasy tablets, half-a-kilogramme of cocaine worth €35,000 and 4.5kg of cannabis worth €30,000.

The rescued dogs included greyhounds, lurchers, Yorkshire terriers, English and American bulldogs, dobermans, German shepherds and other small terrier breeds known to be used illegally in badger baiting.

Two cats, two pigs and five rabbits were also taken away. All are being cared for by Dublin SPCA.

* www.dspca.ie

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