Gardaí rescue 35 dogs in fighting ring raid

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

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

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.

It is suspected some of the terriers and bulldogs were being used in illegal fighting and badger baiting.

Cats and dead rats were found in some of the outbuildings suggesting owners were attempting to blood young terrier pups for the cruel practise.

Inspectors from the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) said its welfare officers were alerted to suspected cruelty yesterday afternoon 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 DSPCA at around 3.30pm.

No-one was at home at the time and no arrests have been made.

Gardaí said officers recovered 10,000 ecstasy tablets, half a kilo of cocaine worth €35,000 and 4.5kgs of cannabis resin worth €30,000.

Assorted drug paraphernalia including a pneumatic press, weighing scales and a generator was also seized along with the gas operated air pistol and several hundred steel ball bearings.

A computer hard drive was taken away for analysis by garda IT experts.

A spokeswoman for the DSPCA said the animals were being kept in disgraceful conditions.

“There was no dry bedding. They had very dirty bodies and their coats were matted,” she said.

“There were a huge number of rats both alive and dead. The buildings were filthy, horrendous conditions.

“Because of the amount of rats at the scene we have to be very careful of the risk of diseases such as leptospirosis or Wails disease.”

The rescued dogs range from young pups up to adult females, some it is believed are pregnant.

They included greyhounds, lurchers, Yorkshire Terriers, English and American bulldogs, Dobermans, German Shepherds and other small terrier breeds often known to be used illegally in badger baiting.

Two cats, two pigs and five rabbits were also taken away.

Gardaí insisted investigations were continuing.

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