Farmer is fined 50p for killing tots’ pet dog.

Irish Mirror, 29/4/1999

John O’Connell (63) of Ballymore, Cobh killed Belinda, the children’s dog and Harvey a neighbour’s dog as the sisters aged 5 & 6 screamed in horror.  see more


Decision on Walderstown foxhunt cruelty investigation expected today
West Meath Independent, 1/12/2007

This afternoon (Wednesday), the body in charge of foxhunting in Ireland is expected to announce the findings of its investigation into claims that a fox was dug out of its den, tied up and fed alive to the hounds during a recent hunt in Walderstown.  An Irish Masters' of Foxhounds Association (IMFHA) sub-committee, which was set up to investigate the claims, was due to meet with members of the Westmeath Hunt yesterday evening, with a decision set to be announced today.

  The Westmeath Hunt organised the November 14 meet during which the incident is said to have taken place, but the organisation has strongly denied the claims. Caroline Preston of the Westmeath Hunt committee told this paper that while she did not take part in the meet in question, the Hunt has "vehemently denied" that the incident took place. "We are anxious to clear our name," said Ms Preston. 

  The Irish Council Against Blood Sports called for a Garda investigation into the claims, which were reported in the national press last week. Sergeant Noel Mulligan of Athlone Garda station said that, as of yesterday, the local gardai had received no report in relation to the incident.

  Landowner in Walderstown, Michael Murray, is reported to have been an eye witness to the hunt, but when contacted by this paper yesterday he said he had no comment to make in relation to the alleged events. The Walderstown allegations were originally discussed by the IMFHA at a meeting early last week.  The association's spokesperson, Brian Munn, said that a sub-committee was then established to investigate the claims and that in the last few days this group has spoken to a number of people "both formally and informally" as part of its enquiry.  "From our point of view we need to find out if something happened and, if it did, we need to make sure that it doesn't happen again," he commented.

  The Westmeath Hunt was suspended while the investigation was taking place.

  The alleged incident is outlawed under the code of conduct drawn up by the Irish Hunting Association and sanctioned by the Department of Agriculture and Food. It states that: "In no circumstances will a live fox which has been dug out be thrown to the hounds.

Ballydangan pups have lucky brush with the law!
Westmeath Independent, 02/09/2013
Two collie pups had a lucky brush with the law in Ballydangan recently when local Gardai came to their rescue. Gda Alma Delaney and Gda John Duggan responded to a call from a member of the public, who had heard the sound of pups crying coming from a fertilizer bag thrown in a drain in Ballydangan. The concerned individual had tried to help but could not reach the bag. Gardaí were able to retrieve the bag and found the two pups tied inside.  They very kindly brought them back to the station where they were given a bath, food and a warm bed in a cell for the night. The Gardaí then contacted the ISPCA for assistance and the pups were brought to the National Animal Centre. When fully recovered from their ordeal they will be available for rehoming.
  Inspector Karen Lyons who collected the puppies from the Garda Station commented “The pups are approximately 3 months old, they are very friendly and seem to be well socialised. I find it impossible to understand why anyone could do such a thing to these 2 beautiful pup when there are options out there for people”.

Warning: Graphic content - Athlone SPCA appeals for witnesses after dog's head blown off

Independent.ie (http://www.independent.ie/incoming/warning-graphic-content-athlone-spca-appeals-for-witnesses-after-dogs-head-blown-off-29801946.html), 02/12/2013

Athlone SPCA has appealed for information following the discovery of a dog which was shot in the head in the town.  see more

Athlone SPCA says dogs dumped weekly on motorway

Shannonside FM, 02/12/2013

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Athlone says that animals are being dumped on a daily basis in the area. The group has made an appeal for witnesses after a husky dog was shot 4 times over the weekend. The dead animal was discovered by a passer-by on the road in the popular Glynwood Bog area on Sunday afternoon.

  Chairperson of the SPCA Billy Gallagher says the incident has been handed over to the Gardai but they fear that the animal was dumped after failed attempts to sell the dog. Mr. Gallagher says that while this case is extreme people are dumping animals along the motorway on a weekly basis: Billy Gallagher is appealing for people to contact the Gardai if they have further information.  He’s reminding people that it is an offence to abandon and of course shoot an animal except in some circumstances where farmers are permitted to do so.

Man fined €350 for digging out setts

Irish Independent, 04/06/2004

A man who pleaded guilty to interfering with badger setts in a nature reserve was fined €350 yesterday.

  Michael O’Dowd (45), Grange Crescent, Mullingar, pleaded guilty to two counts of interfering with a breeding area of a protected wild animal and of failure to comply with a request of a ranger.

  Mr O’Dowd admitted in Mullingar District Court he dug out a badger sett, but only after a terrier he had with him got stuck in the hole. His solicitor said he had been hunting foxes.

  National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers heard a report that two men and dogs were seen entering Richfort Demense near Lough Ennel in Co Westmeath on May 26, 2003. They found freshly dug out badger setts and bait.

  When they called to Mr O’Dowd’ house he refused them permission to see his dogs or shovel.

Charges of badger hunting dismissed

Irish Times, 04/06/2004

A man had charges of illegally hunting badgers dismissed against him, but was convicted and fined €350 for other offences under the Wildlife Act at Mullingar District Court yesterday.

  Michael O’Dowd (45), of Grange Crescent, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, was before Judge David Anderson on five charges under the Act. He pleaded guilty to charges of interfering with the breeding place of a protected wild animal (badger) and failure to comply with a requirement to show the instruments and dogs used for hunting. However, three other charges were struck out.

  The charges were brought against O’Dowd following an incident at Rochfort Demense, Mullingar, on May 26th, 2003.

  The court heard that three wildlife rangers were investigating a complaint that O’Dowd had been hunting badgers on Westmeath County Council land on the eastern shore of Lough Ennel.

  Sgt Terry Quinn told the judge that the rangers discovered that a badger set had been freshly dug out and filled. They called to the home of O’Dowd, and questioned him.

  The court was told O’Dowd admitted he was hunting with his dogs that morning, but said he was hunting foxes. Sgt Quinn said O’Dowd refused to show the rangers his dogs or the spade used. Following this, the rangers made a complaint to the Garda.

  In a statement to the Garda, O’Dows said he had gone hunting foxes with a 14-year-old and two dogs, one a terrier. The terrier had gone into the set, and he had had to dig him out.

  Mr Bob Marren, defending, said O’Dowd had no previous convictions. He had only disturbed the set to dig out his dog, and was pleading guilty to this offence.

  Judge Anderson imposed a €250 fine for interfering with the set. O’Dowd was fined a further €100 for failing to comply with the request of the rangers to show the dogs and equipment used for hunting.

Killing Fields

Exposed: Badger baiting horror

Sunday World, 04/09/1994

A helpless and terrified badger is torn from its sett by a specially trained hunting dog, its teeth buried deep into the jaw and ear of the stricken animal.

see more

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.

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.

ISPCA warns horse owners after ex-racehorse found starving in Westmeath

Newstalk, 22/04/2014

The ISPCA is warning horse owners to properly update ownership details after a former racehorse was found starving and close to death. The horse - whose racing name was 'Suspect' - was discovered on vacant land in Athlone in Co. Westmeath in November.

  The horse was so emaciated he could barely stand before being rescued by ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons. She found him discarded on disused development land in the Athlone area after a call was made to the ISPCA confidential animal cruelty helpline by a concerned member of the public.

  While his registered owner was located, it has been claimed that he was sold at the Banagher Fair last September. The ISPCA says efforts to establish who was responsible for his care are on-going and so far proving unsuccessful.

  But details on his micro-chip confirmed he was a racehorse.

  He was due to run in Roscommon in May of last year, but was withdrawn due to injury. Cisco was taken to the ISPCA National Animal Centre for urgent veterinary care and rehabilitation and has made a good recovery.

  ISPCA CEO Dr. Andrew Kelly believes the horse, who has now been re-named 'Cisco', was abandoned after his racing career ended because of injury.