Cases in 2005

Thugs mutilate family pet and leave it to die in ‘horrendous’ attack

Irish Examiner, 15/09/2005
A family pet which was saved from drowning was butchered with an axe or a grinder by thugs who then threw the dog up on a pillar outside a housing estate and left it to die.  see more

Kerry Foods in duck cruelty charge

Sunday Times, 09/10/2005

British animal rights activists are targeting the Kerry Group, Ireland's largest food company, over the alleged mistreatment of ducks at a farm in Norfolk.  see more

Mutilated greyhounds dumped in river

Irish Independent, 7/9/2005

Animal rights groups have expressed horror at the discovery of the mutilated remains of three greyhounds, floating in a river. The dogs, found in Co Waterford, had their throats cut and ears sliced off. The discovery has shocked both locals and Greyhound Action Ireland (GAI) which is campaigning for the humane treatment of dogs. GAI official Tony Peters warned that such incidents of animal cruelty were no longer isolated.



Neglectful farmer escapes jail over cruelty to cattle

Irish Independent, 1/06/2005

A farmer who has starved his cattle to death was told yesterday he would have to apply to the courts if he was ever to be allowed have livestock in his care again.

David Coffey of Newgrove, Kilrickle, Co Galway, escaped jail after admitting charges of animal cruelty and failing to properly register his herd. Coffey appeared at Loughrea Circuit Court yesterday, appealing at eight-month jail term handed down at Ballinasloe District Court.

Department of Agriculture vet Elizabeth O’Flynn told the court that, in conjunction with the ISPCA, she inspected Coffey’s herd on February 2 last year.

The 60 animals showed signs of starvation. They were bellowing for food and there was no evidence of feed or shelter. There were carcases on the land. Some cattle showed extreme weakness and one died shortly after the visit. Ms O’Flynn said Coffey admitted he had not had a vet out for 14 months.

Neither tags nor registration of animals were in place and Ms O’Flynn issued a regulatory notice compelling him to address the problems. He agreed to do so immediately.

On numerous subsequent visits Ms O’Flynn said there was little change. Some beasts had to be put down. Further notices were issued.

Defence counsel told Judge Raymond Groarke Coffey was very depressed, but his condition had only been properly diagnosed recently. Judge Groarke accepted Coffey was ill. He had heard many such cases in court but had never yet heard one where there was not a psychic reason.

The court heard Coffey had disposed of his cattle.

The judge said he would suspend sentence and proposed to prohibit Coffey from holding animals without applying to court to see if he was fit to do so. He adjourned sentence to finalise the prohibition wording.



Boy kills dog in horrific attack

Disgust as pup beaten with sticks

Belfast Telegraphy, 12/07/2005

There was outrage last night over another horrifying case of animal cruelty in Ulster in which a young boy is believed to have beaten a puppy to death.

  Police and the USPCA were called to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the puppy, which was found with severe injuries in the Vianstown Road area of Downpatrick.

  Sinn Fein councillor Eamonn McConvey said the boy’s parents were “very upset” by what had happened.

  He said: “This is a very concerning incident. We don’t know the full circumstances yet but the parents of the boy who has been implicated in this incident are very upset.

  “They are devastated and can’t understand why their son would do this.

  “They are very sorry for all the hurt caused.”

One resident said a group of children who witnessed the incident were left badly shaken.

  He said: “There were a number of kids about and they were left pretty shaken by what they had seen. Nobody knows yet what was behind this. We think the dog was a stray.”

The boy is believed to have swung the dog around by its legs.

  This is the latest in a series of animal cruelty cases in the province in recent weeks.

  Earlier this month two children were believed to be responsible for beating a baby goat to death in Co Tyrone.

  The young animal was found with its legs and back broken in Dromore after it was beaten with a hurling stick.

  The children were too young to face prosecution.

  Two weeks ago a Labrador cross-breed was allegedly thrown from the 10th floor of a block of flats in north Belfast.

  Police were also called in to investigate the possible decapitation of a sheep after an animal’s head was discovered at a house in south Belfast.



Farmers fined for livestock and record-keeping offences

Irish Independent, 14/06/2005

Fines totalling €10,500 were imposed on two Co Monaghan farmers who pleaded guilty to breaching EY regulations relating to the movement of livestock and failing to keep herd records.

  At Carrickmacross District Court, Judge Flann Brennan also ordered the men to pay expenses totalling €2,950.

  Aidan McCooey, Derrycreevy, Castleblayney, was fined a total of €6,000 when he was convicted on eight charges brought by the Department of Agriculture and Food.

  He also received a suspended sentence of four months imprisonment, and was ordered to enter into a €1,000 bond to be of good behaviour for four years.

  The other accused, Patsy McCooey, Drumalish, Castleblaney, was fined a total of €4,500.

  Each of the accused were also ordered to pay €1,475 expenses.

  Brendan Daly, an official at the Department of Agriculture, gave evidence of investigating the breaches.

  The court heard the charges were adjourned on a number of occasions. They related to breaches of EU regulations governing the movement of livestock over a period between May 2002 and August 2003 and failure to keep records, required under the EU and the Department’s Bovine regulations.

  Similar charges against a third farmer, William Crabston, Skerrymore, Drumacrib, Co Monaghan were adjourned to a further hearing.



Dogs in bloody fight to death

SAVAGE: Ladder used to separate terriers after raid on remote farmhouse

Evening Herald, 14/07/2005

Gardai had to use the leg of a ladder to force apart tow blood-soaked pit bull terriers who were pitted against each other to the death in a savage illegal dog fight, a court heard.

And they spend five minutes trying to break the grip the dog had on its rival after they raided a remote farmhouse at Brocklagh, near Allenwood, Co Kildare, on October 31, 2003.  Five men were found guilty of cruelly ill-treating two animals during a dog fight in the first case of its kind in the state.

Offence

A jury in Naas district court found another man not guilty.  Troy Jordan, Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondakin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght and David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght were all found guilty of the offence on October 31, 2003 at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare.

Richard Bernard, Dark Road, Castletown, Carlow, was found not guilty by the all male jury.

  Judge Patrick McCartan earlier directed the three men of the original group of nine accused – Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom Road, Drimnagh; Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham and James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co Kildare, be released as he was not satisfied there was sufficient evidence to continue.

  The remaining men were charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911 with cruelly ill-treating two animals after an additional charge of assisting in the fighting of the animals was taken from the indictment by Judge McCartan. All had pleaded not guilty.

  The trial had previously heard that a team of gardai and Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) inspectors had raided the Kildare farm and found two dogs in a bloody embrace in a steel pen.

  The two pit bull terriers had lacerations to the face, ear, head, neck and forelimbs, the court had heard. A number of men were found by the pen while others ran out to nearby fields, some of whom were subsequently caught.

  Shocked officers found the dogs fighting in a steel den splattered with blood. “One of the dogs was holding the other by the neck,” Garda Steve Kinneavy said.

  “It was a strong grip. I jumped into the ring and tried to get the dogs apart. I managed to get the leg of a ladder between them to release his jaw.”

Each of the men faces a maximum fine of € 12,270 and/or two years’ imprisonment. The five convicted men remain on continuing bail until July 28 for sentencing.



Five men found guilty of ill-treating animals by attending dog fight

Irish Independent, 14/07/2005

Five men have been found guilty of ill-treating two animals during a dog fight, in the first case of its kind in the state.  see more



History made as dog fight swoop lands handler in jail for 18 months

Evening Herald, 28/07/2005

A brutal dog owner made history today when he was jailed for cruelty to animals during a dog fight.

  Troy Jordan, of Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare, now faces 18 months behind bars.

  He was handed down the sentence in Naas Circuit Court in the first case of its kind in the history of the State.

  Jordan, along with four others, had been found guilty of ill-treating two animals during a dog fight at the conclusion of a trial two weeks ago.

  The other four were: Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght and David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght.

  Breen received a nine-month suspended sentence on condition he pays €5,000 to the ISPCA; Dreegan has to pay €3,000 and received an 18-month suspended sentence; Somerville received the same; while Codd received a nine-month sentence, suspended for two years, on condition he pays €500.

  The five were charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911, with cruelly ill-treating two animals. All had pleaded not guilty at the opening of the trial.

  The trial had previously heard that a team of gardai and ISPCA inspectors had raided a farm at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare, on October 31, 2003, and found two dogs in a bloody embrace in a corrugated steel pen.

  Jordan had a previous conviction for cruelty to six pit bull terriers which had been found in neglect at his home.



Man jailed for organising cruel and bloody dogfight

Irish Independent, 29/07/2005

A 35-year-old man has been jailed for 18 months for cruelty to animals during a dogfight in the first case of its kind in the State.

  Another four men were given suspended sentences and fined at Naas circuit court yesterday after being found guilty of cruelly ill-treating two animals in 2003.

  Troy Jordan, of Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare, was jailed for 18 months by Judge Pat McCartan yesterday. It also emerged that he had previously been convicted and fined €6,475 for cruelty to six pitbull terriers found in neglect at his home.

  Yesterday’s sentencing was welcomed by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) who said that the practice "is not acceptable in this day and age."

  The trial had heard that a team of gardai and inspectors from the ISPCA had raided a Kildare farm and found two dogs in a bloody clinch in a corrugated steel pen. The two pitbull terriers had lacerations to the face, ear, head, neck and forelimbs, the court had heard. Such was the ferocity of the fight between the dogs that a ladder was needed to separate them.

  Yesterday, Judge McCartan said it was a “mean and nasty offence where the animals were used for a purpose never designed”. The five men were charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911 with cruelly ill-treating two animals.

  All had pleaded not guilty to the charges. It is the first time that such a case has been heard in the State.

  Each of the men faced a maximum fine of €12,270 and/or two years imprisonment. Judge McCartan said he was “fairly certain” that but for the intervention of the Gardai, one or both of the dogs would have died in tht fight.

  There was also significant organisation in putting together the event by building the ring that was found and putting down a carpet so the dogs would have a better grip, he said.

  While Jordan now faces jail, Richard Somerville from Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin was ordered to pay €3,000 to the ISPCA and his sentence would be suspended.

Karl Breen of Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin received a nine-month suspended sentence on condition of a €5,000 payment to the ISCPCA, while Thomas Codd of Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght had to pay €500 to have his none-month sentence suspended.

  David Deegan of Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght received an 18-month sentence on condition of a €5,000 payment to the animal welfare body.



ISPCA probes suspicious beheading of dog on railway track

Irish Independent, 08/01/2005

Gardai in Athlone and the ISPCA are investigating an incident in which a dog may have been tied to railway tracks by a group of youths and had its head severed by an oncoming train.

  Local ISPCA inspector Paul McCormack said they were investigating two sinister incidents which may be connected.

  The first was before Christmas when a local butcher overheard two 13-year-old boys discussing taking a stray dog from the town and tying tit to railway tracks to see what would happen.

  The butcher talked the boys out of their plan. A local woman contacted the ISPCA and the stray was picked up.

  On January 1, a rare Pyrenean Mountain Dog owned by a local went missing and was found beheaded on railway tracks. “We don’t know if the events are connected but it seems too much of a coincidence,” said Mr McCormack.

  The dog’s instinct would have been to run so it was unlikely it would have come near the train unless held there, he said. The area where the dog was found was fenced off, so it would have had to walk over a mile along tracks.

  Mick McDonnell, the dog’s owner, said he was devastated. He had thought that his dog strayed and was killed accidentally by a train, but now he believes otherwise. His two-year-old dog, Snorri, was a fixture on a Viking Tour boat he runs, taking tourists on trips of Lough Ree each year.

  A spokesman for the gardai in Athlone said they were investigating the incident. Mr Cormack appealed for anyone with information to come forward.



Garda was sent ‘spinning’ by horse

Northside People, 28/09/2005

A teenager who collided with a garda inspector while recklessly riding a horse was last week saddled with 190 hours community service.

  The Children’s Court heard that the then 15-year-old boy sent garda inspector John O’Driscoll “spinning” when he hit him with his horse at New Church Street in Smithfield on December 5 last year.

  The north inner city boy, now aged 16, had pleaded not guilty to three offences arising out of the incident but was convicted at a hearing in July.

  He had been charged under Section 45 of the Control of Horses Act for being a person in control of a horse who wilfully or recklessly permitted the horse to pose a danger to a person or property.

  He was also prosecuted for assaulting garda inspector O’Driscoll.

  Judge Angela Ni Chonduin had heard that the incident happened on the day of the Smithfield horse Fair. The teenager had been riding his horse at speed on the wrong side of Bow Street.

  After being cautioned by one garda, the teenager then kicked the horse and used his reins at which the animal took off at a canter in the direction of the garda inspector who had been coming along New Church Street.

  Garda inspector O’Driscoll was hit on the shoulder by the horse and one witness said he was “spun around” by the collision.

  The teenager was stopped and became verbally abusive and aggressive to the gardai. When taken to the Bridewell Station to be charged, he continued to be disruptive and abusive.

  He had three previous convictions for public order offences for which he had been bound to the peace earlier this year.

  The boy left school after completing the Junior Certificate and was currently taking part in a training course.

  Judge Ni Chonduin noted that he was suitable for a community service sanction and was willing to do it as well.

  She refused to make an order barring the boy from having contact with horses saying that he was clearly interested in them and he may have to work with them as part of the community service work.

  However, she warned that if he acted in a similar manner again or was found to be abusing horses, he would be dealt with more harshly.



Mutilated greyhounds dumped in river

Irish Independent, 07/09/2005

Animal rights groups have expressed horror at the discovery of the mutilated remains of three greyhounds, floating in a river. The dogs, found in Co Waterford, had their throats cut and ears sliced off. The discovery has shocked both locals and Greyhound Action Ireland (GAI) which is campaigning for the humane treatment of dogs. GAI official Tony Peters warned that such incidents of animal cruelty were no longer isolated.



Family’s shock to find hacked dog

Horrific: Poor little greyhound lay with ears sliced off after vicious mutilation

Evening Herald, 20/10/2005

This is the gruesome sight that greeted the Maher family when they returned home from a celebration with family and friends.

  The viciously mutilated and starving greyhound bounded in the front door of their Co Tipperary home, horrifying little Aaron (5) and Ellen (3) Maher.

  The emaciated animal – its ears hacked off and half its scalp cut – ran straight down to a bedroom.

  But the brave pooch – which has since been given the name Fionn – just wagged its tail, no doubt delighted to be indoors after suffering outside for what, its carers say, must have been weeks.


Freezing

Speaking to the Evening Herald, Donna Maher said: “(The dig) was starving and freezing but absolutely friendly. Even though he was in a lot of pain he was still wagging his tail.”

  She described the reaction of her children to the horrific sight.

  “Ellen noticed (the wounds) first. She came in screaming. My 13-year-old (Sarah) was crying her heart out. My son (Aaron) didn’t know what to think.

  “They were all disgusted. It was a pitiful looking sight. Anyone who can do that to an animal cannot say they are human.”

The Mahers had been out celebrating the 11th birthday of their friends’ son on Saturday when they returned home to find Fionn.

  “How can you explain this to a child? (Fionn) looked like he had been in a fight with another dog. He was starting to smell because (the wound) was getting infected,” Donna said.

The family kept Fionn in their house in Moyne overnight and the next day brought it to the local vet, while also contacting the Tipperary Friends of Animals SPCA, which is now looking after the tragic little dog.

  Sarah even offered to pay for his upkeep out of the money she earns from babysitting because she does not want him to be put down.

  The society assured the family, however, that Fionn will not be put down, even if no one offers him a home. Bernie Wright of Greyhound Action Ireland is now calling for an end to greyhound racing as the only solution to stop this kind of mutilation being inflicted on dogs.

  “As greyhounds are tattooed on both ears to identify them for racing and coursing purposes, this practice is becoming all too common in Ireland and the UK.”

In the coming weeks, the group will be distributing flyers with Fionn’s photo and the heading ‘do you know this dog?’ at every racecourse in Ireland.

  The heartless mutilation of Fionn is just the latest in a litany of savage attacks occurring on greyhounds in this country.

  In Waterford two months ago, a man out walking his dog by a riverbank came across the bodies of three greyhounds, their throats cut and their ears removed.



Filthy animals

Shocking mutilation exposed

Sick dog owners cut ears off unwanted greyhounds

Sunday World, 11/12/2005

Callous dog-owners cutting the ears off unwanted greyhounds before abandoning the dogs.

  Old, injured or unwanted greyhounds are being mutilated before being ditched in a bid to hide identifying tattoos on the dogs’ ears.

  In some cases battery acid or blow torches appear to have been used on the dogs.

  Campaigner Bernie Wright has lashed the racing industry for not doing more to stop the unscrupulous owners from carrying out the savage practice.

  One rescued greyhound was found in Ballinasloe, County Galway with her ears cut off and the fur on her head singed.


Infected

The wounds had bec6omed infected and the dog had a gaping hole on her head.

  Despite the cruelty inflicted on her, the dog which has now been named Eva, is doing well according to Bernie.

  However, when it comes to the people who carried out the savage attack Bernie doesn’t mince her words: “They are pure scum. Her ears were septic, of a texture like charred fabric6 and one was burned right through with a gaping hole. The bluish ink from the greyhound industry tattoos was apparent on bits of her ear that were still hanging in tatters,” said Bernie.

  The dog has since been making a good recovery.

  Three dead dogs discovered in Waterford river last September also had their ears removed to disguise the official identifying tattoo.

  Greyhound Action Ireland ran a campaign to identify another dog found with a mutilated scalp. “Fionn” appeared to have been the vic6tim of someone using a crude b8lade which left the skin hacked and infected.


Reward

Animal welfare campaigners claim that the racing industry is responsible for the deaths of 14,000 dogs a year and called for an end to tax exemptions.

  However, the Irish Greyhound Board responded to the cruelty meted out to Fionn by offering a reward of €15,000 for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrator.

There are also plans to introduce a DNA system which is expected to be up and running within the next 12 to 18 months. The board also has a full time welfare officer who runs a retired greyhound trust.



Puppy found in pool of blood after brutal hammer attack

Irish Independent, 25/01/2005

Thugs have left an eight-week-old puppy unable to see after smashing her head open with a hammer.

  The vicious attack on the tiny terrier Dana Scully – named after ‘The X-files’ character – took place last week in the Moyross area of Limerick city.

  The little pup was found lying in a pool of blood at a hedge near the sprawling estate by locals.

  “She had blood pouting from her head. We believe she was hit with a hammer. The injuries to her head were very severe and it looked as if she was about to die,” said Marion Fitzgibbon of Limerick Animal Welfare.

The pup underwent surgery to drain fluid from her head at a local veterinary clinic. Veterinary nurse Ciara Walsh, who worked on the puppy, said: “The top of her head was smashed open. This is one of the worst cases of animal abuse I have ever come across.”

  The pup is now in a stable condition, but not yet out of the woods.

  “She cannot see a thing in front of her at all. The swelling still has not gone down so we will have to wait and see,” she said.

The savage attack is the latest in a series carried out in on pets in the city.

  Last month, a greyhound was rescued in the Southill area as young thugs were about to impale it with nails.



My shock drugs claims – RTE star

Evening Herald, 19/04/2005

GAA commentator Michael O Muircheartaigh today described his “shock” at claims his greyhound tested positive for a banned substance.

  The RTE sports star described how he was “shocked about this and didn’t know anything about it.”

  Speaking thought his wife Helen, the renowned broadcaster who is laid up with laryngitis, said: “The trainer didn’t tell him about it and he only found out yesterday. He doesn’t know what to think.”


Nobody told me about doping – Michael

The legendary mic man has been unable to speak for the past two weeks due to the throat illness.

  The greyhound, Heart Rumble, recently tested positive for the drug nandrolone.

  The dog is looked after by Paul Hennessy, the country’s best known trainer and he was fined €1,169 and severely reprimanded by the National Greyhound   Racing Club in London last week at a disciplinary hearing.

  A source close to the family said Michael had been speaking to Paul a week ago and he said nothing about it then. Michael is “very annoyed” at this as people have been ringing up about the scandal.

  None of the other owners in the syndicate knew about the doping claims either, said the source

  The dog was competing in a race in Sunderland on December 4 last year and was subjec6ted to a urine test after competing. The dog’s urine tested positive for nandrolone and three other substances.

  Trainer Paul Hennessay, this evening confirmed that he had not informed Michael.

“You have to understand the dog had a medical problem and was treated under veterinary supervision. There was nothing illegal or prohibited about using the drug in this country,” said Mr Hennessy.



Trainer’s bid fails

The Sun, 18/10/2005

Trainer William Mullins yesterday lost his High Court bid to overturn a ruling disqualifying one of his horses for a failed drug test.

  Gelding Be My Royal’s win at 33/1 in a race in 2002 was ruled ineligible by the Jockey Club when the horse’s urine was found to contain morphine.  Mr Mullins, of Bagnalstown, Co Carlow, argued it was now accepted that the morphine levels came from food contaminated by poppy seeds.

  But Judge Mr Justice Stanley Burnton said the Jockey Club was “not a public authority” and its verdict could not be challenged in the High Court.  He added: “Review of the decisions of the Jockey Club is a matter for private law.”



Victory for ISPCA as court bans man

The Star, 23/01/2005

These are the horrific pictures taken inside a recently discovered puppy farm, revealing the horror of the conditions dogs are forced to love in.

  The woeful state of the two farms, Ballyinan, Co Laois, were described as some of the worst the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have experienced.

  But thanks to the pioneering work of the ISPCA, both farms were shut down for good earlier this week.

  The owner of the dogs, Liam Burke (66), has been barred from ever owning a dog again.

  The case is the first ever prosecution against a puppy farm owner in this country and the victory is seen as a major coup for the ISPCA.

  ISPCA inspector Conor Dowling revealed that the woeful conditions up to 30 dogs were forced to live in were some of the worst he has ever seen.

  As our exclusive pictures show, dogs ravaged with skin disorders were locked inside makeshift pens with no bedding.

  “The conditions the dogs were being kept in were atrocious and there was no cleaning being done,” Conor said.


Layer

  “There was a thin layer of faeces on the ground and there was a very strong smell of urine, no bedding and old bones lying around.”

Mange, a skin disorder which causes a dog to literally tear of its coat, was rampant in the ramshackle farm.

  “There were a numb8er of dogs that were in poor physical condition and there were a number of dogs with bad skin complaints as well.

  “A lot of the dogs had traces of mange, a lot of them were bald around the eyes. It is a matter of it not being treated and it being allowed to escalate to that stage,” Conor added.

The farm’s owner Liam Burke was well known to ISPCA officials, according to Dowling.

  “He has a bit of history and we have had an involvement before.

  “I believe there were some health factors whic6h perhaps tipped it over the edge but he was always walking a tightrope.”

Last month, Burke, who had previously undergone triple bypass surgery, pleaded guilty to two charges under the 1911 Cruelty to Animals Act/

  The maximum penalty in such a case is a €2,000 fine and/or six months imprisonment.  However, due to the man’s ill health and age, Judge Mary Martin let the dog owner off lightly and ordered him to pay €1,000 for the cost of the investigation, while banning him from owning a dog again.


Outcome

Earlier this week, Carlow District Court hear the Loughglass farm was in an “appalling state” with 10 makeshift pens in a barn reeking of urine.  Inspectors found a nine-week-old puppy with an infected cut at Ballyadams.

  Despite the success of the case the ISPCA has been left with severe financial woes. The cost of housing Burke’s dogs during the court proceedings cost almost €10,000.

  Apart from a small grant from the department of Agriculture, the ISPCA is dependent on donations and fundraising to keep its vital operation in existence.

  “We are appealing for donations at the moment to help us cover these costs.”

You can make a donation to the Society by visiting www.ispca,ie



Group lands €10,000 bill for rescuing dogs

Irish Independent, 20/01/2005

An animal welfare group is out of pocket by €10,000 after it had to look after dogs taken from a puppy farm whose owner was yesterday convicted of cruelty.

  Liam Burke, who is in his 60s, with three farms, in Co Laois, pleaded guilty to two charges of cruelty under the Animal Cruelty Act in not providing basic care for two black Labradors and one terrier and not providing adequate medical care for a pup whose wound had become infected.

  Burke has farms at Loughtglass, Ballyadams and Ballylinan.  The dogs and puppies involved included Labradors, terriers and German Shepards.

  Judge Mary Martin fined Burke €1,000 payable to the ISPCA, gave him the Probation Act and banned him from keeping dogs for life.

  However, Judge Martin, at Carlow District Court, refused to grant an application by the ISPCA to be paid the €10,000 it has cost to look after the dogs.

  Garda Brendan Shelly previously told the court that Burke’s barn at Loughglass was inspected by the ISPCA, the dog warden and a vet on February 5 last.  He described the premises as “appalling.”

  The animals were in varying states of deprivation, some with wound infections.

  Burke had been breeding dogs commercially for seven years.

  The court had heard the case was “as bad as they came” in terms of negligence towards animal care.  Evidence was given that the Loughglass premises was inspected again on December 8.  The dog warden found there were 29 dogs and two puppies there.

  Defence barrister Paul O’Shea, BL, agreed his client would release the dogs into the ownership of the ISPCA after the court heard that Burke who underwent a triple by-pass and could not work anymore.

  Judge Martin said it was a “bad case” but took into consideration Burke’s health problems.

  After the case, Brendan Hughes, ISPCA regional officer said they were pleased the owner was banned from keeping dogs.  But he warned that the ISPCA’s failure to recoup the cost for minding the animals could affect its future service.




Pony dope claims rock showjumping

Irish Independent, 22/02/2005

The Irish equestrian world was last night hit by new allegations that a top competition pony, ridden by a teenager, had tested positive for drugs after an international competition in Italy.  It was claimed that Loughnatousa Bart, whic6h competed with rider Colleen Power from Waterford at the Pony Nations Cup show in Arezzo, Italy, last September, tested positive for a series of drugs.

  There has been no formal finding of any doping in this case.

  Rumours had been circulating for some time in showjumping circles but the FEI, the international equestrian federation, was prepared only to confirm yesterday that a case involving an Irish pony was “in the course of due process.”  The FEI was not prepared to provide any details, while the Equestrian Federation of Ireland would not comment.

  Allegations of a positive drug test result for an Irish pony were made by RTE.  And last night RTE journalists’ handling of the investigation was criticised by a family member of the young showjumper involved.

  Following in the wake of Cian O’Connor’s Olympic doping case and just three days after Jessica Kuerten’s protest over the imposition of a fine following a positive test on her mare, Libertina, in Canada last September, this latest development has caused further consternation in the sport.

  Loughnatousa Bart, currently registered in the ownership of Terry Power, Colleen’s father, was a member of the winning Irish Nations Cup team Abezzo.  It was also placed in both Grand Prix classes at the Italian fixture.

  Under FEI rules, the person responsible in a pony doping case is not the rider but, instead, an adult connected with the horse.  The FEI’s Head of Communications, Muriel Faienza, said yesterday that it could be “the team Chef d’Equipe or coach, the team veterinary surgeon, the owner of the pony or a parent – it varies in each case”.

It is unclear who would be the person deemed responsible in this case if there is a finding of doping.

  Terry Power could not be contacted last night.  But his brother, Patrick, alleged that RTE personnel had called to the family home in Waterford yesterday and had “terrified” his niece.

  “I got a real fright,” Colleen told the Irish Independent last night.

  “I heard a car driving up and a horn beeping – I thought it was maybe a taxi at the wrong house.

  “And they rang the bell and then started banging on the door and the windows of the room I was in

  “I didn’t hear what they were saying but I was scared so I called my father and he sent my uncle over.”

RTE’s Damien Tiernan denied that there was any harassment involved.

  He said last night: “There was no indication that there was anybody in the house, all the blinds were drawn.

  “We knocked at the door of the house, nobody responded and I left.

  “I was there no longer than 60 seconds.”

He said he would be sorry if he in any way unknowingly upset a child.



SO TRAGIC

National hero Guest caught in row over neglected race horse

News of the World, 27/03/2005

Grand National legend Richard Guest is at the centre of a courtroom mystery involving a racehorse that vanished – and was then found in appalling condition.

  The News of the World has obtained shocking pictures which show the horse – whose name had been changed – with large amounts of hair missing from its back, a damaged hoof wrapped in black tape and an untreated gash on a rear leg.

  An injunction has now been served against Guest – and the horse’s current owner Seymour Reed – which bans them from selling the horse until the mystery is resolved in court.

  Guest, who won the 2001 National on Red Marauder, last night insisted he had done nothing wrong, stating “When Seymour brought the horse to me, he wanted it renamed.

  “So my secretary sent the necessary forms to Weatherbys and I trained it for a while.

  “Then the horse went home – Seymour took it away from me. At the time I believed that Seymour was the legal owner of the horse. Now I know that’s in dispute.

  “I’m completely innocent. I had no reason whatsoever to question him when he brought the horse to my stables.”

Reed was unavailable for comment but his solicitor, Chirsopher Stewart-Moore, said: “My client is defending the action vigorously.”

  The horse was originally called Cast the Net and was bought by Richard Aylward for £6,415 in 2001.


Stolen

He put it into training with Simon Magnier in Malton, Yorkshire. But after Magnier lost his licence in May, 2003, the horse disappeared.

  Alyward reported it stolen to police and contracted Watherbys, who keep all Jockey Club records. It was then he learnt the horse’s name had been changed to Carpe Momentum, the owner was Reed and it was in training with Guest.

  To his horror, Alyward later discovered the horse on a farm in Northumberland, where he went with a vet and two police officers.

  Aylward a bloodstock breeder, said: “The horse’s ribs were showing and he had a nasty injury on a leg.

  “He had lost lots of hair and there was also a big split in a hoof.

  “I’ve never met Seymour Reed and I’m baffled how he became the owner.”

Alyward is now suing both Guest and Reed for loss of earnings on the horse, with a preliminary hearing set for Friday.



Holy cow! It looks like a ritual killing

Irish Independent, 27/01/2005

The remains of another cow – the third in a month – have been found in a Kilkenny city laneway, heightening fears of a ritual killing of cattle campaign.

  Gardai reckon that a professional has been used to butcher the animals. The latest discovery contained parts of a bovine spinal cord, which is specified risk material and must be disposed of under licence.

  The Co Council has asked the gardai to investigate because of the threat to public health. It has also issued a public health warning in conjunction with the local Health Service and the Department of Agriculture.

  The public are being asked to be wary of any offers of meat from an unlicenced source.

  The latest discovery near the junction of Old Callan Road and Walkin Street was made last Thursday.

  The authorities are puzzled about where the cattle came from as each cow born in the country has an identity tag.



11 to be tried for animal cruelty

Irish Times, 20/04/2005

The trial of 11 men charged in connection with running an illegal dogfight in Co Kildare will begin at Naas Circuit Court in July.  The alleged offences are said to have occurred on October 31st, 2003, at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare. The men have all been charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1911.

  Yesterday Judge Patrick McCartan said the case was of priority and it should be the first heard in the next court session which begins on July 5th.

  “it’s the type of case, if left lingering in the list, it will never get out of the traps,” he said.

He immediately said he had not intended the use of such wards as a rumble of suppressed laughter spread around the court.  The Judge was informed the case would take approximately a week and would require a jury.

  Seven counsel are representing the men, some of whom requested further disclosure of specific documents.

  Judge McCartan was informed there would be 17 witnesses involved in the trial.  He suggested that all parties return to court in mid-June to ensure that all issues of disclosure had been revolved before the trial proceeded.

  The defendants are on bail on their own bond of €500 and are expected to plead not guilty to the charges.

The accused are: Anthony Burke, Corstown, Oldcastle, Co Meath; Richard Bernard, Dark Road, Castle town, Carlow; Troy Jordan, Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin; John Moody, Coolamber Crescent, Templeogue; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght; David Deegan, Mapelwood Park, Springfield, Tallaght; Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom Road, Drimmnagh and Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham.



Garda saw men flee dog fight

Evening Herald, 08/07/2005

A garda described how he came across a dog fight in progress when he raided a Kildare farm.  When gardai burst in, several men fled the scene.  Gardai and members of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) had taken part in the raid on the buildings on private lands, Sgt Con O’Sullivan said.  When the door of the building at Brockagh in Robertstown was opened on the morning of October 31, 2003 three or four men had ran away towards open fields, he explained.

  The raid had come about after information that the dog figh1t was going on.  Three or four vehicles were parked outside the farm buildings, Sgt O’Sullivan told Naas Circuit Court.  The raid happened at 11am on a bank holiday Friday where gardai found two distressed dogs in a pen with cuts and lacerations.

  The trial, which is estimated to take another four days, will hear evidence from a number of gardai from Newbridge and Robertstown stations as well as members of the ISPCA.

  The nine accused men are: Richard Bernard, Dark Road, Castle town, Carlow; Troy Jordan, Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght; David Deegan, Mapelwood Park, Springfield, Tallaght; Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom Road, Drimmnagh and Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham.

  One of the charges, under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911, is that the men cruelly ill-treated two animals while the other stated they assisted in the fighting of animals.

After lengthy legal argument yesterday, Judge McCartan told the jury that two other accused had been released due to an absence of connecting evidence.



Two men found not guilty in illegal dog fighting case

Irish Independent, 08/07/2005

Two men charged in connection with running an illegal dog fight in Co Kildare have been found not guilty because of an absence of evidence.  John Moody of Coolamber Crescent, Templeogue, and Anthony Burke of Corstwon, Oldcastle, Co Meath, were releas,07ed on the direction of Judge Patrick McCartan at Naas circuit court yesterday.  The two were on trial along with nine others. The alleged offences are said to have happened on October 31, 2003 at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare.  All of the men pleaded not guilty to two charges in relation to dog fighting.

  After lengthy legal argument yesterday, Judge McCartan told the jury that two of the accused had been released due to an absence of connecting evidence.

  Earlier Sgt Con O’Sullivan of Newbridge Garda Station said that when he entered a farm building at Brockagh he found two dogs fighting each other in a specially constructed ring.  When the door of the building was opened, three or four men ran away.

  During the raid, by members of the gardai and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, two distressed dogs were found in a pen with cuts and lacerations.

  The trial of the other nine men is estimated to take another four days and will continue on Tuesday.



Rescued: Savaged animals found in a pen during raid on farmhouse

Evening Herald, 07/07/2005

Cash found in raid on ‘dog fight’

Two dogs who were pitted against each other to the death were saved by gardai after officers swooped on a farmhouse in the middle of an illegal dog fight, it is alleged.  The savaged animals were found in a pen in the farm house at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare, a court heard.  The raid, which also involved members of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), came on foot of confidential information received by the gardai.

  Eleven men were charged in connection with running an illegal dog fight at Naas Circuit Court.

  The alleged offences are said to have happened on October 31, 2003 at Brockagh, Robertstwon, Co Kildare. All pleaded not guilty to two charges in relation to dog fighting in the court.

  Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said some of the men on the farm were found with money on them when officers arrived at the scene.  He also said a number of other men may got away after they ran when the raid started.

The 11 accused men are: Anthony Burke, Corstown, Oldcastle, Co Meath; Richard Bernard Dark Road, Castletown, Carlow; Troy Jordan, Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin; John Moody, Coolamber Crescent, Templeogue; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght; Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom road, Drimnagh and Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham, all in Dublin.



Charges against two dropped in illegal dogfight case in Kildare

Irish Times, 08/07/2005

The case against two of the 11 men charged in connection with running an illegal dogfight in Co Kildare was dropped yesterday.

  Judge Patrick McCartan told the jury he would be directing a not-guilty verdict in relation to Anthony Burke, Corstown, Oldcastle, Co Meath, and John Moody, Coolamber Crescent, Templeogue. He sad there was not enough evidence to connect them to the alleged dog fight.

  Most of the day was taken up with legal argument in the absence of the jury.

  The remaining defendants face charges on two counts of animal cruelty. They are Richard Bernard, Dark Road, Castletown, Carlow; Troy Jordan, River Road, Allenwood, Co Kildare; James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght; David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght; Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom road, Drimnagh and Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham. The alleged offences are said to have occurred on October 31st 2003, in a shed at Brockagh, Robertstwon, Co Kildare.

  The court was earlier told that when gardai arrived at the shed that morning shortly after 11am, several men ran from the building and were followed by the officers. On entering the shed, the gardai noticed that there were two dogs in a galvanised ring fighting each other. There were also several men in the shed.

The case has been adjourned until July 12th.



Dogs in bloody fight to death

Savage: Ladder used to separate terriers after raid on remote farmhouse

Evening Herald, 14/07/2005

Gardai had to use the leg of a ladder to force apart two blood-soaked pit bull terriers who were pitted against each other to the death in a savage illegal dog fight, a court heard.  And they spent five minutes trying to break the grip the dog had on its rival after they raided a remote farmhouse at Brockagh, near Allenwood, Co Kildare, on October 31, 2003.

  Five men were found guilty of cruelty ill-treating two animals during a dog fight in the first case of its kind in the state.


Offence

A jury in Naas circuit court found the five men guilty and another man not guilty.

  Troy Jordan, Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght and David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght, were all found guilty of the offence on October 31, 2003 at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare.

  Richard Bernard, Dark Road, Castletown, Carlow, was found not guilty by the all make jury.

  Judge Patrick McCartan earlier directed the three men of the original group of nine accused – Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom Road, Drimnagh; Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham and James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co Kildare, be released as he was not satisfied there was sufficient evidence to continue.

  The remaining men were charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911 with cruelly ill-treating two animals after an additional charge of assisting in the fighting of the animals was taken from the indictment by Judge McCartan. All had pleaded not guilty.

  The trial had previously heard that a team of gardai and Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) inspectors had raided the Kildare farm and found two dogs in a bloody embrace in a steel pen.The two pit bull terriers had lacerations to the face, ear, head, neck and forelimbs, the court had heard. A number of men were found by the pen while others ran out to nearby fields, some of whom were subsequently caught.

  Shocked officers found the dogs fighting in a steel den splattered with blood. “One of the dogs was holding the other day by the neck,” Garda Steve Kenneavy said.

  “It was a strong grip. I jumped into the ring and tried to get the dogs apart. I managed to get the leg of a ladder between them to release his jaw.”

Each of the men faces a maximum fine of €12,270 and/or two years’ imprisonment. The five convicted men remain on continuing bail until July 28 for sentencing.



Sheep farmer accused of shooting neighbour’s dog

Irish Independent, 09/02/2005

A farmer appeared in court yesterday charged with shooting his neighbour’s pet dog.

  Sean O’Shea, with an address at East Hill House, Glasson, Athlone, Co Westmeath, was charged with discharging a firearm near a public road. The farmer had claimed he had shot the dog because the animal was worrying his sheep.  And in a separate incident, the farmer was also charged with allowing a dead heifer lie on his land.

  David Henshaw told the court that on February 26 last year, he let his red setter dog out at about 1.30pm. However, at about 3.30pm that evening he got a call from a neighbour to say that his dog was dying on her front lawn.

  Mr Henshaw came home and found the dog dying and with a hole under his chin. He confronted a neighbour, Mr O’Shea, because he knew he had shot dogs in the past.

  Mr O’Shea claimed he had shot the dog from a shed on his land. However, the court heard evidence that the dog had died on a neighbour’s front lawn.  Noreen O’Rourke told the court that she had come home from work at about 3pm and 15 minutes later she heard her children screaming after they got off their school bus. She saw the dog dying in her front garden.

  Mr Henshaw took pictures of the scene, including a blood trail, which was several hundred feet away from where Mr O’Shea said he shot the dog. The case was adjourned for a week.



Man faces dog fight charge

Irish Independent, 18/02/2005

A Dublin man charged in connection with an illegal dog fight at Robertstown, Co Kildare has been sent forward for trial to Naas Circuit Criminal Court on April 19.

Karl Breen, of Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin was remanded in custody with consent to bail on his own bond of €300 and an independent surety of €600.



Shot birds horror for stunned golfers

The Sun, 11/02/2005

Glofers set for a round at a posh club got a shock when dead and dying birds rained down on the course. Marcus O’Brien, from Libmerick, said he and his pals heard a series of shots as they arrived to tee off at Dromoland Castle Golf Club.

  He said: We were forced to watch the horrendous slaughter of some of the most beautiful wildlife. “We were captive on the tee for 20 minutes, while dead and partly dismemberd birds rained down.”

  Marcus claims gun dogs then ran in and “finished off” the dying birds at the five-star Co Clare resort.

  The fairways were left littered with mutilated birds and used cartridges. Marcus said: “Our game of golf was ruined and I have been left with terrible images. We’d just gone for quiet round.”

  Dromoland Castle refused to comment. But it is understood management have contacted some players who were on the course at the weekend and apologised for any distress they suffered.

  Organised shooting – along with golf, tennis, fishing, and boating – is among the activities offered by the resort.



History made as dog fight swoop lands handle in jail for 18 months

Evening Herald, 28/07/2005

A brutal dog owner made history today when he was jailed for cruelty to animals during a dog fight.  Troy Jordan, of Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare, now faces 18 months behind bars.  He was handed down the sentence in Naas Circuit Court in the first case of its kind in thbe8 history of the State.

  Jordan, along with four others, had been found guilty of ill-treating two animals during a dog fight at the conclusion of a trial two weeks ago.

  The other four were: Richard Somerville, Dunary Drive, Navan Road, Cabra; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght and David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght.

  Breen received a nine-month suspended sentence on condition he pays €5,000 to the ISPCA; Deegan has to pay €3,000 and received an 18-month suspended sentence; Somerville received the same; while Codd received a nine-month sentence, suspended for two years, on condition he pays €500.

  The five were charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911, with cruelly ill-treating two animals. All had pleaded not guilty at the opening of the trial.

  The trial had previously heard that a team of gardai and ISPCA inspectors had raided a farm at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare, on October 31, 2003, and found two dogs in a bloody embrace in a corrugated steel pen.

  Jordan had a previous conviction for cruelty to six pit bull terriers which had been found in neglect at his home.



Dog put down for garda standoff

Evening Herald, 09/09/2005

A teenager who used his Staffordshire terrier as “a weapon” in a standoff with gardai failed yesterday to prevent the animal’s destruction.

  Daniel Kavanagh (19), currently facing criminal damage charges following alleged threats to burn down the home of a neighbour, denied his dog was dangerous.

Gardai successfully applied to have the dog destroyed after an incident outside his home in Cherry Orchard Crescent, Ballyfermot, on August 5 last.

  Dublin District Court heard gardai had knocked on Kavanagh’s door at around 1am after he threatened to burn down a neighbour’s house.

  He closed the door in their faces, but seconds later returned with the dog and used it to goad the gardai.  He then walked out of the house through the group of officers and threatened to set the beast on them.

  A garda told the court yesterday that it was only “by the grace of God” that the dog did not bite anyone.

  A few days after the incident, gardai returned for the dog with a warrant and a DSPCA officer.

  Kavanagh was meanwhile in custody having been refused bail when the neighbour told another court that he feared for his safety.  Kavanagh, who was still in custody yesterday, said the dog was not vicious and it only “went for gardai when they started hitting me”.

  Judge Angela Ni Chonduin said the evidence showed she had to put the dog down.



Horror of Pig Massacre

Ireland on Sunday, 19/06/2005

It almost defies belief – 4,300 pigs killed in a bloody six-day spree that involved the use of a sledgehammer and a bizarre attempt at suffocation. What’s even more shocking is that this grotesque scene was presided over by Department of Agriculture officials…  see more



Ex garda ‘took hurl to pet dog’

He was one of a number of people arrested by internal affairs detectives probing the leaking of sensitive police information to the IRA.

  The High Court awarded him the money over the affair but the Supreme Court has now ruled he was not entitled the compo.  Now it can also be revealed that he has appeared in court accused of cruelty and battering a neighbour’s pet with a hurley.

  Walsh denied beating and killing the 10-year-old sheep-dog owned by his elderly neighbours, Philip and Kathleen Doyle, on October 11 last year.  But he subsequently agreed a pay to undisclosed charity donation to the SPCA to avoid conviction.

  Nenagh District Court heard Walsh had intervened in a row between his sheep-dog and the dog owned by the Doyles.


Evidence

In evidence, Mr Doyle said his dog Rex was lying outside his gate when Mr Walsh’s pet ran up and attacked him.  He said Walsh followed up behind and proceed to strike his dog with a hurley “with all his force” on three of four occasions.

  Mr Doyle said the retired garda then walked into a nearby school with his dog and shouted to him that he was sorry that his dog had died of a “heart attack”.  Mrs Doyle said she had been “dumbfounded” by Mr Walsh’s actions.

  The court heard both dogs had a history of fighting, and according to Walsh, had been involved in “thousands of skirmishes” since the Doyles moved to the estate a number of years previously.

  Walsh told the court that the dog had been removed by the SPCA to University College Dublin for a post-mortem examination, but the cause of death turned out to be inconclusive.

  His solicitor, Michael Collins, speculated the dog could have died of “shock” as a result of the fight.

  Walsh told the court he was “deeply upset” by the charge levelled against him and said he had been and animal lover all his life.  He agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of money to the Roscrea branch of the SPCA.  The proposal was accepted by the Doyles and no conviction was recorded against Mr Walsh in respect of the charge.

Walsh (63), of Oaklawn Drive, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was awarded €175,000 by the High Court in May 2003 after it ruled he and a separated mother-of-four, Kay   Bedford, were wrongfully arrested and detained 14 years ago on suspicion of being members of the IRA.  However, the State subsequently appealed the award and the Supreme Court yesterday overturned the judgement which rule in favour of Walsh.




Dog-killer accused to make charity donation

Irish Independent, 20/07/2005

A retired garda accused of beating a dog to death with a hurley agreed to pay compensation to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals yesterday.

  Anslem Walsh denied killing the 10-year-old dog owned by his elderly neighbours, Phillip and Kathleen Doyle.

  Mr Doyle said his dog, Rex, was lying outside his gate on October 11 last year when Mr Walsh’s pet ran up and attacked him. He said Mr Walsh followed up behind and proceeded to strike his dog with a hurley “with all his force” on three of four occasions.

  Mr Walsh, of Oaklawn Drive, Nenagh, told the court he was “deeply upset” by the charge. He apologised for the incident and said his only intention was to separate the dogs.

  He agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of money to the Roscrea branch of the SPCA. The proposal was accepted by the Doyle and no conviction was recorded.



Outrage over barbaric pig slaying by gun

Sunday Independent, 19/06/2005

A disturbing video showing the “inhumane” slaughter of farm animals under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture has been obtained by the Sunday Independent.  see more



Illegal bookie fined €8,260

Irish Independent, 19/01/2005

A farmer and retired publican who ran an illegal bookies from a back room in his house was yesterday fined over €8,000.  In a deal with the Revenue, Paddy Keenan, of Cootehill, Co Cavan, admitted 10 charges and was fined a total €8,260.



Irish ride named in dope row

Evening Herald, 18/02/2005

In yet another embarrassment for Irish showjumping, it emerged today that Irish rider Jessica Kurten’s horse has also tested positive for banned substances.  Her horse, Libertina, tested positive for caffeine and theophylline after a showjumping event in Calgary last September.

  However, Ms Kurten has lashed out saying that she was prevented from bringing her own horse feed to the Canadian event and was forced to use feed that she believes contained the banned substances.

  She said that she was not in a position to have the new feed checked for banned trace elements and reassured her supporters, sponsors and friends that she didn’t do anything wrong.

  Kurten said she was not willing to accept a “symbolic fine” of 250 Swiss Francs by the international equestrian authorities over the incident.  It’s also understood she has requested that the authorities now proceed to test the B portion of the sample in question.

  Today, president of the Equestrian Federation of Ireland, Avril Doyle MEP, moved to limit the damage caused to the image of Irish showjumping saying it was a “grade five” (low potential to influence performance) offence.

  Kurten said in an statement: “These naturally occurring herbal substances are a high source of protein often found in animal feeds. At this show and I was prohibited from bringing my own feedstuff into Canada. My own feedstuff does not contain this source of protein.”

  The FEI, on discovering the presence of these naturally occurring substances decided to impose a “symbolic” fine of 250 Swiss Francs to finish the matter.

“I have declined to cooperate with this proposal because I cannot be held responsible for the contents of the feed supplied in Calgary as I was not in a position to have it analysed or checked. I want the FEI to explain why they chose to sanction me in these circumstances,” she said.



Department of Agriculture in the dock over pig slaughter

Sunday Independent, 26/06/2005

A government animal welfare committee has asked the Department of Agriculture to explain how a farmer cruelly slaughtered more than 4,000 pigs while under official supervision.

  The inhumane slaughter was caught on video, showing the farmer killing pigs with a captive bolt gun, contrary to EU regulations, which only permit its use for stunning an animal. In other breaches, the animals were not restrained before being shot and were not killed in isolation.

  The video, revealed in the Sunday Independent last week, was viewed by the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council last Thursday. Members of the government appointed council were said to be shocked by the images of clearly-distressed animals writhing violently in their dying moments after being shot with the bolt gun.

  The committee has asked Department to report back to its next meeting, in August.

  The Department has distanced itself from the poor slaughter practice on the video, arguing that the farmer sought to kill the animals himself and that veterinary inspectors who assessed the process saw nothing amiss.

  The Department’s role in the slaughter has been queried by animal welfare campaigners, who claim the evidence clearly shows that the farmer was not competent to kill the animals and that officials should have stepped in to halt the cruel slaughter.

  Mary Ann Barlett, of Compassion in World Farming, called for an independent inquiry “into how that slaughter was allowed to take place on farm, in the knowledge of the Department of Agriculture.”

Ms Bartlett,0 who also sits on the animal welfare council, said she was prohibited from discussing what transpired at Thursday’s meeting.

  “The crux of the matter to us is how was that allowed to happen when the Department knew about it – and with a captive bolt pistol,” she said.

  “All slaughter should be done in a suitable location under very, very strict veterinary supervision. In this case, someone who is not a trained slaughterer killed huge numbers of animals.

  “This is about welfare of animals. We want to know how it happened and we want complete reassurance from the Department that it will not happen again.”

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports also plans to raise the role of the Department of Agriculture in the slaughter with the European Commission.

  Tom Galvin, from Dungarvan in Waterford, slaughtered his herd in 2002, almost three months after they were impounded by the Department. Officials found a banned substance on his farm which they say he confessed to feeding to his pigs. Disease broke out and Mr Galvin claimed he had no option but to slaughter the pigs on welfare grounds.

  Mr Galvin is currently being prosecuted under the Animal Remedies Act, and is in turn suing the Department. In a statement last week, the Department of Agriculture said the farmer sought to slaughter the animals himself on welfare grounds.

  Two veterinary inspectors regarded him as competent enough to use a captive bolt gun to put down the pigs. The inspectors visited the farms on numerous occasions to assess the slaughter but the farmer never raised concerns.

  “They witnessed the herd owner using the captive bolt method to slaughter pigs on such occasions and furthermore witnessed him pithing a number of pigs where this was required to ensure death,” the statement read.

Responding to a Dail question from Fine Gael’s Agriculture spokesman Denis Naughton, Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan said: “The herd owner had decided to slaughter his animals on farm and the Department considered at the time it could not legally have forced him to have the operation conducted in a slaughter plant.”



17,000 dogs die

Busy owners dump unloved pets

News of the World, 13/11/2005

Uncaring owners are responsible for 17,000 dogs being put down in Ireland every year.  This means that 45 dogs are being destroyed every day.

  Now a dog charity is trying to combat the problem by encouraging pet owners to neuter their animals.

  Dog Trust Ireland’s Eilis Denieffe is urging pet owners to call the trust’s National Neuter Hotline, 1890 946 336, to be referred to a local vet.  She said neutering is a simple procedure that also has great health benefits for dogs – it can protect against certain types of cancer.


Stray

Eilis, the charity’s education officer, said if their major neutering scheme takes off it could dramatically reduce the number of stray and abandoned dogs.  Her organisation has begun a pilot scheme in Cork which is proving an overwhelming success, with more than 600 calls made to their hotline.  Hundreds of dogs are already booked in for their operation.

  And Cork people on means-tested benefit can have their dogs neutered for a reduced fee. Eilis said: “The response from the public has been absolutely fantastic.  We’re confident that we can really make a difference to dog welfare in Cork.” Nationally she described the number of dogs being put down as “terrible”.

  And, with Christmas fast approaching, she fears a new influx of unwanted dogs facing an uncertain future.

  She said: “We want to warn people to really THINK before getting a dog this Christmas.”

  She believes some busy parents tend to buy dogs for their children out of guilt.

  She explained: “Guilt has become a major factor in people getting a dog – they tend to do this because they can’t spend as much time with their child as they would want. And, in the new fast-paced world of the tiger economy, more and more pet owners see their dogs which may be conflicting with their busy lives, as disposable objects.”

  Eilis teaches interactive workshops in Dublin schools on responsible pet ownership.



Cruel owner flings pup out car window

Evening Herald, 20/10/2005

This defenceless eight-week-old pup died from agonising injuries after she was deliberately flung from a car window.

  The sickening cruelty happened in Tallaght and the little dog suffered a fractured pelvis, broken bones and extreme internal wounds after its owner literally threw the unwanted pet away while driving at speed.

  The DSPCA today appealed for anyone with information on the malicious crime to contact local gardai in Tallaght.

  The female Labrador cross was in a state of severe shock after the incident. A vet felt the pelvic injury was irreparable and put the animal to sleep, the DSPCA told the Evening Herald. One horrified motorist, who was driving behind he pup’s owner, was en route to the vet herself when she spotted the incident and came to the rescue of the stricken puppy.

  The DSPCA has condemned the terrible act, which happened late last month, saying it is unprecedented. “We’ve never seen this kind of thing before, “ said the DSPCA’s Salee,0a O’Loughlin, adding that the owner may have reacted in frustration as puppies need a lot of love and attention.

  With Halloween just around the corner the DSPCA is bracing itself for a flood of calls.

  “It’s a complete nightmare,” said O’Loughlin about the job ahead.

She told how last year three boys had called from door-to-door looking for bonfire fodder and were handed a wicker basket to throw on the flames.

  It wasn’t until the innocent youngsters heard whimpers from inside that they discovered four kittens.

The DSPCA believes the owner deliberately tried to get rid of the kittens, but they were pulled from the fire in time and survived.



Raids target rare dogs, says breeder

Irish Times, 03/05/2005

The owner o almost a dozen Chihuahua dogs, stolen from a house in Tralee, Co Kerry at the weekend, believes rare breeds of dogs are being targeted by gangs in the Limerick and north Kerry areas.

  Two mothers, along with a male, the father o the families, and eight pups were stolen of the home of Marian O’Connor, at Brackrock, Upper Rock Street, Tralee in the early hours of Friday morning.

  The so-called toy dogs were all thoroughbred and are conservatively valued at €10,000.

  Gardai believe the theft was planned by a group intent on selling the rare dogs.  “Someone knew they were being bred there and they had a means of transport to carry them off,” Sgt Bill Browne of Tralee said.

  There have been a number of such thefts in the Limerick and north Kerry areas in recent months, and many breeders are increasingly aware their dogs may be a target, said Ms O’Connor, a well-known breeder of the Chihuahua, a Mexican breed.

  She believes the theft was “not a very professional operation,” but she was targeted as a breeder.

A cardboard box was emptied and the six-week-old pups were placed inside.  The mothers followed quietly.

  The dogs would be sold on without papers, she said.  “I believe the pups are still in the Tralee area,” yesterday.

  Ms O’Connor said she is worried about the welfare of the puppies in particular.  Asked to describe the breed, Ms O’Connor said: “Chihuahuas are intelligent, friendly dogs and they are very loyal.”  The pups were due to be sold on and families had already chosen their pups.  One woman who had picked out two of the Chihuahua pups has been searching on the internet and issuing alerts, Ms O’Connor added.

  The dog, with a white beard, answers to the name of Toby, while the foxy coloured female answers to Gemma, and the black and white female answers to Jade.  The pups are of varying colours.

  Anyone with information is asked to contact Tralee gardai at 066-7102322.



Cruel owners dumping dogs on death row

Left for Dead: Irresponsible families turn their backs on 62 animals in 12 days

Evening Herald, 01/02/2005

These are the latest pups to land on “death row” as Dubliners rush to dump their family pets.  The six German Shepherd pups have been surrendered to Ashton Pound in what has become a deluge of dogs being discarded by their owners in recent days.  In some cases people have turned up with long-standing family pets and turned them in before looking for “a new model” in the shape of a younger dog.


Arrival

The German Shepherd pups bring to 62 the number of dogs given in by their owners to the pound in the past 12 days alone.

  Surrendered dogs are usually put down within 24 hours of their arrival at the pound.

  “Nobody could cope with these numbers. They don’t deserve to die just because they’ve had irresponsible owners,” said Marie Hannon of Dogs In Distress.

The influx isn’t directly connected with Christmas and appears indicative of a growing trend of owners simply disposing of their dogs because they can’t be bothered.

  Volunteers are working flat out to try to rescue as many pets as possible. “The pressure is enormous. People are allowed just hand them in and walk away and not have to answer to anybody. It’s crazy,” she said.

  Marie is urging the Government to properly enforce the licensing laws, to have all dogs micro chipped and for an update of the Control of Dogs Act..

  “That way every dog is accountable and it would put people off having a dog if they didn’t think they were going to look after it properly,” she says.



Mutilate greyhounds dumped in river.

Irish Independent, 07/09/2005

Dogs were dumped in a river in Co. Waterford with their throats cut and ears sliced off.

  Greyhound Rescue West of England Press Release – May 2005 : More Greyhounds Rescued with their Ears Amputated! Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE), have recently taken into their care, two greyhounds who have had their ears amputated. Greyhounds who are bred for racing are tattooed in their ears, and are registered in their owners details. Cutting off a dog’s ears was obviously meant to avoid the dog being traced back to the unscrupulous owner who had dumped Heather and left her to die. Greyhounds are bred in their thousands for racing, and many are abandoned every year when they are unwanted by their owners, if they are not fast enough for the track. GRWE rescues and finds homes for as many dogs as it can help, and places them into loving family homes. In 2004 the charity, which is run by volunteers, and receives no money from the racing industry, found homes for 500 dogs. Last week GRWE were contacted by another small rescue in Ireland, who had had a greyhound dumped on their door step, again with her ears amputated. Georgie the greyhound, was in a terrible state, her ears had been hacked off, and she was obviously in considerable pain.



Slaughtered greyhounds' ears hacked off to avoid identification.

Irish Mirror, 05/09/2005

Three greyhounds were found with their throats cut and ears hacked off. The mutilated bodies of the dogs were found floating in a river near Dungarvan, Co Waterford. Their horrific injuries had been inflicted in a bid to remove their identification tattoo and prevent identification. This sickening incident is the latest example of cruelty being investigated by Gardai. In April a greyhound was rescued after she had her ears sliced off and was left bleeding heavily in the north Kerry village of Ballydaff.



Tortured dog Pippa seeking a new home

Drogheda Independent, 20/05/2005

DROGHEDA’s Animal Rescue Centre (ARC) is hoping for a happy ending to a tale of terrible animal cruelty.

  They are looking for a new home for Pippa, a springer spaniel who was subjected to systematic torture, burned by hot oil deliberately poured on her head.

  ‘It’s a horrible case, one of the worst we have seen in some time,’ said Lisa Martinez of the Drogheda Animal Rescue Centre. ‘We got a call from a distressed woman who was so appalled by the condition of the dog, she took it straight away to the Garda Station and wouldn't leave until something was sorted out.’

Pippa was picked up wandering around the town at the end of March with horrific injuries. When the ARC volunteers got to the Garda station they found a sorry sight.

  ‘Pippa was lice ridden, to such an extent that they could be seen crawling around her fur. She was just skin and bone with her ribs sticking out and large sores on her backside from spending extensive time sitting on a concrete floor. Worst of all were the large open wounds on her head,’ said Lisa.

At first the ARC thought Pippa had been used for dog fighting but a vet’s report revealed

the truth.

  ‘She said the wounds were burns, most likely caused by deliberately pouring a hot liquid such as oil on her head.’

Pippa’s condition was immediately reported to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who are investigating the case.

  Despite her ill treatment Pippa is very friendly and affectionate. At the moment she is being ‘fostered’ by ARC volunteer Paula Loughlin who is nursing the animal back to health at her home in Mornington.

  ‘We are looking for a new home for Pippa, who is almost fully recovered,’ said Lisa. Before she goes to new owners Pippa will be neutered and fully vaccinated.

They found a new home this month for another badly mistreated dog. Jewel is an English Pointer who was found, half starved with much of her fur missing and bloody sores covering her body, in Julianstown last December.

  A family in Scotland who keep pointers heard about Jewel’s sorry tale. When they saw the dramatic before and after photos of her, they were determined to give her a home, said Lisa. Jewel went to Scotland two weeks ago.

  If you are interested in providing Pippa with the good home she deserves and needs, please contact Drogheda Animal Rescue Centre at 041-9832418.