Wednesday 17 January 2018

Animal neglect and abuse tackled by ISPCA revealed in new report, amid calls for stricter penalties

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Two male Rottweilers were rescued in Meath
Two male Rottweilers were rescued in Meath
A donkey discovered by ISPCA inspectors in Newsdesk Newsdesk

A new report from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) has revealed the extent of abuse and neglect of animals tackled by the charity.

A number of prosecutions successfully advanced through the courts are outlined in the charity's 2016 Inspectorate Report details prosecutions which have been concluded in the report.

Under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 ISPCA inspectors are authorised officers and can enforce it.

Dr Andrew Kelly, the CEO of the ISPCA, said the charity is currently only able to provide cover in 17 counties and would like to take on more inspectors.

A greyhound which was found in Co Waterford
A greyhound which was found in Co Waterford

"Most of our funding comes from the public, so it will take a bit of time. We do need more resources," he told

Dr Kelly said the charity would prefer to see more people unable to keep animals as a result of prosecution.

"We would like to see higher penalties and more banning orders," he said.

The charity are looking for the "right balance between enforcement and educations," he added.

Among some of the harrowing cases the following are outlined:

  • A man in his 60s, with 25 previous convictions for animal related offences, was given a three month suspended sentence and ordered to pay €250 in ISPCA costs.  Among the animals found on the Donegal property were a donkey too weak to stand, two emaciated calves and an emaciated pony. All had to be euthanised on site following advice from a vet. A further seven ponies were seized.
  • In another shocking case a Collie was put down after inspectors discovered it with serious injuries as a result of being run over with a van and trailer. The animal had been brought to the vet in the aftermath of the incident but had not returned.
  • Meanwhile another case saw a man in his 20s was ordered to pay a €500 fine, a €500 donation to the ISPCA and €600 in state costs after a horse was found with chronic infection, living on land with hazardous material.
  • In March 2016 five Huskies were rescued, including a one who was pregnant. They were confined to "filthy" conditions but all have now been re-homed.
  • Another shocking case was discovered by inspectors in Waterford. An eight-year-old West Highland Terrier was discovered with a chronic skin condition which may have been untreated for up to four years. She was also suffering with a flea infestation and matted coat. After examination by a vet the dog was also discovered to have cancer and was euthanised on veterinary advice.

West Highland Terrier found with an untreated skin condition in Co Waterford
West Highland Terrier found with an untreated skin condition in Co Waterford
  • Six Labrador dogs and six puppies were seized after being discovered in a shed n Donegal which was covered in urine and feces. The dogs were also suffering from internal parasites. All were re-homed.

  • Just one person - a woman in her 20s - was given a banning order after prosecution.  Two Rottweilers were found in Co Meath in an emaciated condition with no access to food and water. The woman was fined €500 and disqualified from keeping dogs for two years.

    More than 50,000 calls have been made to the ISPCA's public helpline since it launched in March 2014. More than 16,300 of these were made last year.

    Almost 100 prosecutions have been advanced but only 25 finalised.

    Last year the charity seized 995 animals.

    To find out more information or how to donate visit

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