The head of crime prevention in Limerick, Sgt Liam Sheehan, said this is a new departure in burglaries in Limerick.
He said it was a very uncommon tactic used by burglers.
Sgt Sheehan said: “I’ve heard it happening around the country, but I don’t know if it has happened in Limerick before. I haven’t heard of an incident happening for a while.”
Veterinary surgeon Wesley Power was contacted by a home owner from the Murroe area who suspected that his dog had been sedated when his house was burgled.
Mr Power said: “On close examination the dog was perfectly well, not ill, but definitely had been sedated. It was quite new to me. The guard dog, a boxer, was in the yard at this man’s home, so it would have been easy for the criminals to throw some food mixed in with sedatives.”
Once the dog had been quickly sedated the criminals broke into the house.
Mr Power said the dog was kept overnight in his clinic and put on a drip. He made a full recovery.
Noel Shinnors of the Limerick Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said: “I’ve heard instances in Clare where criminals, knowing there was a guard dog, would bring in a bitch in heat and leave her off. A boxer is a big enough dog, but sedatives can knock out even the biggest dog cold in just a few minutes.”
Sgt Sheehan also issued a warning about criminals wearing luminous jackets calling to the homes of elderly people on the pretext of giving advice on security, to see if there was any cash lying around.