neglect | 

Woman convicted of animal cruelty to pup pictured with new dog

The ISPCA was called to rescue the pup abandoned in deplorable conditions in back garden as owner says she was 'ill'
Mary Mc Loughlin from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary who was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty.

Mary Mc Loughlin from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary who was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty.

The dog was discovered in an unkept garden (ISPCA)

The dog was discovered in an unkept garden (ISPCA)

The dog was found to have matted fur (ISPCA)

The dog was found to have matted fur (ISPCA)

By Patrick O'Connell

A PET owner convicted of animal cruelty for abandoning her dog in a back garden filled with rubbish and faeces is today pictured by the Sunday World in possession of another dog.

But Mary McLaughlin is not breaking any laws - as when her case came before Nenagh District Court just two weeks ago, it did not impose a ban on her owning or caring for animals.

McLaughlin's dog, Penny, was seized from her by the ISPCA after it was discovered "abandoned, frightened and forgotten" in deplorable conditions at the rear of a house at Woodview Close, Nenagh on November 12, 2019.

On December 9, McLaughlin was prosecuted before Nenagh District Court where she was fined €400, ordered to pay €750 in court costs and €196.22 in ISPCA costs.

When the Sunday World called to the property, McLaughlin emerged from the house carrying a new pooch.

The dog was discovered in an unkept garden (ISPCA)

The dog was discovered in an unkept garden (ISPCA)

Asked whether she would discuss the reasons behind her abandonment of Penny, a reluctant McLaughlin told us that she didn't wish to comment.

"No, I don't want to talk about. I'd rather if you just left it, thanks," she said.

At the December 9 hearing, McLaughlin was convicted of two counts of cruelty under the Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA), 2013.

Two further counts were taken into consideration while two others were struck out.

The case was in relation to a female dog, Penny, who was removed from her property on November 14, 2019.

ISPCA Animal Welfare Inspector Emma Carroll first attended the property on November 13, 2019, in response to a report of the potential abandonment of a dog.

She discovered a small white dog who was very matted and dishevelled in the back garden which was filled with rubbish, faeces and urine-soaked bedding.

Inspector Carroll left a notice to make urgent contact. She sealed the property and upon her return 24 hours later, the property remained sealed.

The dog was seized and immediately brought for a veterinary examination.

The young dog was found to be severely matted and had saliva staining. Antibiotics were administered due to coughing and the dog received a badly needed groom.

The veterinary practitioner who examined Penny gave evidence in court of the clinical examination of the dog and her findings. It was the professional opinion of the vet that the dog was neglected upon questioning.

The dog was found to have matted fur (ISPCA)

The dog was found to have matted fur (ISPCA)

McLaughlin contacted Inspector Carroll on November 18, 2019 to meet her at another address. She claimed she had been ill, that her neighbours were to feed the dog but conceded that no official arrangement was made.

She said that no one had visited the dog on Wednesday the 13th but that her partner was there the morning of the 13th.

When questioned further it was actually the morning of Friday the 15th when her partner checked on the dog.

When asked why they did not respond to the notice until Monday the 18th, McLaughlin said it was Saturday the 16th before they noticed the dog had been seized.

She also alleged that her estranged husband was responsible for the cleanliness of the garden. The defendant surrendered Penny to the care of the ISPCA.

Judge Elizabeth McGrath said that she was "satisfied by the evidence before the court." This resulted in the conviction of the defendant of offences under sections 11(1)(a) and 12(1)(a) of the AHWA while counts under 13(1)(a) and 14(2) were taken into consideration.

Speaking after the case, ISPCA Inspector Carroll said: "I was extremely shocked and saddened to see the living conditions Penny was subjected to. Abandoned, frightened and forgotten about.

"Thankfully a kind-hearted animal lover alerted us to her plight allowing us to save her from further neglect and suffering.

"Penny has since been responsibly rehomed to a loving family where she is now living her best lapdog life and is loved and treasured."


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