Sligo man charged with keeping a pony tied up for so long the rope tore her face
The, 21/6/2013
William ‘Jack’ Conway admitted to the offence at Sligo District Court and has until September to pay a fine or face prison.  see more

ISPCA dog pounds ‘barbaric and cruel’

Sunday Tribune, 13/10/1996

The ISPCA has been accused of cruelty to animals at some of its dog pounds throughout the country.  The allegations have been made by an animal welfare group.  The Irish Trust For The Protection And Care for Animals (ITPCA), which has condemned the ISPCA’s policy of putting down dogs using a bolt gun.

  The ISPCA says that conditions and practices at dog pounds in Sligo, Kerry Ennis and Roscommon amount to cruelty to the animals there.  Following visits to the pounds two weeks ago, which they filmed, the Trust called on the ISPCA to “monitor animal shelters in rural areas or withdraw from the dog warden service.”

  The ISPCA told The Sunday Tribune that it was aware that conditions at some pounds “were not up to scratch.  We are currently trying to persuade local authorities to upgrade standards.”

  The Trust claims that chloroform and bolt guns are used regularly in the Kerry pound.  “These have no place in animal welfare,” said Robert Doyle, a director.  “It is a barbaric, outdated and cruel practice.”  He criticised the lack of veterinary input into the killing of animals.  The shootings were usually carried out by dog wardens “who should not be the arbitrator between the life and death of an animal,” he said.  The ISPCA acknowledged that bolt guns were used but denied it was a cruel way to kill animals.

  Doyle’s film of the Ennis pound showed dogs of all ages in an enclosed room with no outdoor area and, apparently, no natural light.  One of the dogs was continually scratching and seemed to have an eye lesion.  There were also faeces littering the room and many of the dogs appeared bloated suggesting, said Doyle, that they had worms.

  In Kerry,  Doyle said the pound was situated “next to a slaughter house where pigs are killed on a daily basis.  We would consider this to be inappropriate and causes stress to the dogs,” he added.

  Mr Doyle said he had called the gardai to the Roscommon pound when he noticed a dog tied in a kennel “and in danger of strangulation.”  The dog was standing in water but “the rope around its neck was too short and did not allow the animal to lie down without getting wet.  The inside of the building was almost dark and a greyhound appeared to me to be in need of veterinary treatment.”

  The Trust has called for the closure of the dog pounds in Roscommon and Sligo, where it claims conditions for animals are also poor.  It also wants an end to the use of bolt guns which it described as a “form of cutprice dog control.  That euthanasia is necessary at all is distressing.  To have animals shot in the head – a shot that has no guarantee of success – by an organisation that is supposed to prevent cruelty is beyond belief.”

  The ISPCA’s chief executive Ciaran O’Donovan rejected these claims, arguing that “new keneels are to be built in Sligo which will create a lot of extra space for the animals.  I am aware of the problems in Roscommon but the local authority there has included money in its estimates for a new pound so that problem should be sorted soon as well.”

  Conditions at most pounds were excellent, he said.  “It would be nice to hear the Trust praise those as well as criticising the minority of pounds where conditions are poor.”