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Dad spent just €5 more on his kids than dog

A DOG owner who was spending just €5 a week more on raising each of his two children than on keeping his German Shepherd has been described as "totally irresponsible" by a judge.

Patrick Kearns (22) had the dog taken off him and it will now be rehomed after gardai twice found it loose and with no identification, muzzle or licence in a south Dublin housing estate.

He was fined €300 by Judge Bridget Reilly, and had a separate public order charge adjourned for a community service suitability report.

Kearns allowed South Dublin County Council to find a new home for the Alsatian after a court heard he was unable to pay the huge kennel bill that had mounted since it was impounded.

The accused, of Davitt House, Drimnagh was convicted of two sets of charges under the Control of Dogs Act.

Dublin District Court heard the accused had got the dog from a friend and had been spending €20 per week on food for it while paying €50 per week to support his two children.

"It is very interesting that he's paying €50 a week to support his children and €20 to keep a dog," Judge Reilly remarked.



Serious

"He is giving each child €5 more than what he is paying for his dog. I think that says a lot about somebody.

"I view this as being on the serious end of the scale given the attitude and lack of responsibility shown by the defendant. The way he addressed the matter, his total irresponsibility has continued, frankly into the court. His attitude is such that he should not have a dog".

Judge Reilly added that it was "terrifying" for many people, even dog lovers, to come across such breeds not under control.

The judge initially said she was ordering the destruction of the dog. However, defence solicitor Leanora Frawley argued that it was not open to the judge to do that and pointed out that there was no evidence the animal was dangerous.

She admitted that she found herself "in the position of representing the dog".

After a brief adjournment Ms Frawley confirmed that the council had agreed to rehome the dog.

The judge said she would recommend Kearns for 200 hours community service instead of a two-month sentence on a charge of breach of the peace.

aphelan@herald.ie


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