The yard in which the dogs were kept. Photo: ISPCA
A Donegal woman has been fined €450 and disqualified from keeping dogs for three years after dogs and puppies were found living in "appalling conditions".
Elizabeth Duncan, Drumbarnett, Manorcunningham appeared at Letterkenny District Court this week. She had previously admitted to neglecting or being reckless regarding the health or welfare of animals contrary to section 12(1)(b) of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 and been ordered to pay €2,002 in veterinary costs.
Donegal ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley and Donegal County Dog Wardens visited Ms Duncan's property on April 24, 2015. They found 26 Labrador dogs and puppies, some living in what they described as "sub-standard and filthy conditions".
A spokesperson for the ISPCA said, "Some dogs were housed in accommodation with inadequate light and other pens were strewn with excrement and old bones. Some of the dogs did not have access to drinking water. A litter of young pups with pot-bellies indicative of a heavy worm burden were also found. Despite the fact that there were so many dogs and that they were being bred for commercial sale, the premises was not licensed as a Dog Breeding Establishment."
Thirteen of the dogs were surrendered into the care of the ISPCA during the initial visit.
The court heard that a recent inspection confirmed that Ms Duncan was still breeding and selling Labradors commercially. Inspector McGinley described how, while the numbers of dogs was reduced and the accommodation was cleaner than at the time of his initial visit, he was still concerned for the welfare of dogs on the premises. No significant improvements had been made to the kennel facilities for the dogs and puppies had not been vaccinated.
Inspector McGinley also told the court that the ISPCA had recently been contacted by a person who had purchased a puppy from Ms Duncan which required veterinary admission as a result of contracting a coccidian parasitic infection, a condition normally associated with very poor hygiene.
Judge Paul Kelly described the conditions in photographs he was shown as “appalling”.
The filthy conditions in one of the kennels Photo: ISPCA
“We welcome the imposition of a disqualification order” commented Inspector McGinley, “This person was breeding dogs for commercial gain and had a responsibility to adequately provide for their needs, but she failed to do so”.
Members of the public should report animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or report in confidence via the online cruelty complaint form.