A Termon man who castrated his neighbour's dog with a rubber "lambing ring" claiming it was a nuisance around his thoroughbred border collies, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty at Letterkenny District Court yesterday.
43-year-old unemployed father of four, Eddie Flood of Cornasaul, Termon, pleaded guilty to the charge that he caused animal cruelty to the pet terrier dog of his neighbour Frank McGettigan of Meanreagh, Termon in September 2009.
The court heard Garda Sergeant Oliver Moran and ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley were called to the McGettigans home and took a statement of complaint that the three-year-old terrier had a rubber lambing ring placed around its testicles.
They then visited Flood's home where he initially denied any knowledge of the incident. However, in a later statement he admitted it saying that as he had two pure bred Collies and he was "fed up" with the dog visiting his yard, he caught it and placed the rubber ring on the animal with a pair of pliers.
He had no previous convictions.
Defence solicitor, Sinead Bradley, said her client was "tortured" by the terrier and had to keep his own dogs locked up regularly and had to return Mr McGettigan's dog home on over 20 occasions
She said he then decided "he had enough" and the use of a lambing ring was "quite common".
She added: "Unfortunately he believed that something similar could be done with a dog."
She described him as "an animal lover" and he did not mean to cause so much distress.
Garda Inspector Colm Nevin said the act resulted in the dog's testicles being "severed".
Frank McGettigan gave evidence that he had never received a complaint from Flood about the dog and it was his (Flood's) family members who "tempted" the dog on to their land.
He said the terrier was locked up at night but was "let loose" at times during the day.
Mr McGettigan said they two families lived in a rural area and always enjoyed good relations.
Ms Bradley said other neighbours in the vicinity also has issues with Mr McGettigan's dog, but she was unable to get the witness she wanted into court to give evidence.
She said her client was apologetic.
"At no stage did he wish to cause serious injury. This might sound naive, but he has a background using lambing rings."
She said Flood "lost it" with the animal and was afraid the terrier would breed with his collies.
Mr McGettigan said the dog has now been given away to a "good home" as he feared for its safety.
Judge Seamus Hughes said it was a very serious charge that can carry a one year prison sentence.
He ordered Flood to pay the 230 euro veterinary bill and 500 euro in compensation to the McGettigan family and adjourned sentencing until March 14, 2011.Continued on page 6