Gone To The Dogs | 

Wicklow man fined after neglected dogs found in 'horrendous conditions'

ISPCA Inspector Fiona Conlon told of how she found the dogs living in a filthy, damp pen with no access to fresh drinking water

Milo (left) and Gizmo (right) shortly after they were surrendered to the ISPCA

Neasa Cumiskey

A Wicklow man has been fined for keeping dogs in “horrendous conditions” with no access to water.

Norman Valentine, with an address at Kilbaylet Upper, Donard, Co. Wicklow, appeared in Carlow District Court last Thursday, 5 May, in relation to the care of an English Springer Spaniel and a Shih Tzu dog.

Giving evidence to the court, ISPCA Inspector Fiona Conlon described how she noticed the poor pups while investigating an unrelated complaint on 14 January 2021.

She told of how she found the dogs living in a filthy, damp pen with no access to fresh drinking water.

Inspector Conlon added that the dogs themselves were also filthy and matted. The Shih Tzu (later named “Milo) was found shivering and emaciated as being matted and soiled throughout his coat while the Springer Spaniel (named “Gizmo”) was limping and appeared to be blind.

Both dogs were surrendered to the ISPCA and the pen had to be partially dismantled in order to remove the dogs. They were taken to a veterinary surgeon for immediate assessment.

Milo is now living a happy and healthy life with his new family

Gizmo was found to have a number of other health issues, including arthritis, and was euthanised to prevent further suffering.

Mr Valentine pleaded guilty to offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) 2013.

Looking at photographs submitted by the ISPCA, Judge Geraldine Carthy commented that the images “speak a thousand words” before fining Mr Valentine a total of €1,100 and ordering him to pay €1,500 in prosecution costs and €667.58 in ISPCA costs.

Inspector Conlon commented: “The conditions in which these poor dogs were forced to live and the condition of the dogs themselves were absolutely dreadful.

“The Springer, Gizmo, was in a terrible state and we can only take comfort in the fact that we were able to end his suffering. Milo’s coat was so matted it was hard to distinguish the head from the rear.

“His underside was covered with large balls of muck and faeces and his entire body was encased in what looked and felt like dread locks. Thankfully Milo made a full recovery and has since been successfully rehomed to a wonderful loving family, which he so deserved.”

The ISPCA encourages members of the public to report any animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 0818 515 515, email helpline@ispca.ie or report online here.

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