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Canine cruelty Man who kept 34 dogs in horrendous condition loses suspended sentence appeal

WARNING: Graphic images

One had a nasty open wound with part of its mouth missing while other dogs were in poor body condition, with ribs and hip bones protruding.

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 Emaciated dog

Emaciated dog

ISPCA

Emaciated dog

A MAN convicted of animal cruelty for keeping collie dogs in horrendous condition has lost his appeal against his sentence.

Patrick Connolly from Cooltacker, Kilroosky, Co. Roscommon had been given a suspended three-month sentence and was disqualified from keeping dogs for five years.

ISPCA Inspectors and gardaí in 2017 found large numbers of collie dogs at the property, some living in horrendous conditions.

One had a nasty open wound with part of its mouth missing while other dogs were in poor body condition, with ribs and hip bones protruding.

A total of 34 collie dogs were removed by the ISPCA over a period of time, 29 of which were surrendered to the charity.

In February 2018, at Roscommon District Court, Connolly admitted to one charge and gave commitments regarding the care of four dogs still in his possession.

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One dog had a bad mouth injury

One dog had a bad mouth injury

One dog had a bad mouth injury

He appeared back in court last December where he pleaded guilty to the offences and admitted that he was “deeply ashamed” of the suffering he had caused to his dogs.

Judge Alan Mitchell commented on photographs of the dogs at that hearing, that they were “appalling” and “quite distressing”.

“If you can’t look after them properly, you shouldn’t have dogs. I have to send out a strong message, that people who neglect animals can expect serious consequences”.

This week at the appeal hearing Judge Francis Comerford upheld the five-year disqualification, fined the accused €1,000 and ordered that he pay €1,050 veterinary costs.

ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons gave evidence this week of visiting the man’s property on the 29th August 2017 and returning the next day accompanied by Gardaí.

Six dogs were seized and taken for veterinary assessment.

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One of the dogs

One of the dogs

ISPCA

One of the dogs

Ann Neville, the vet who examined the dogs, told the court that all except one had a body condition score of one out of five.

Judge Comerford said: “The accused failed to take the necessary steps which would have avoided these dogs from arriving in this state. These dogs were in distress and were suffering; there clearly was offences committed”.

“A breach of this ban could result in an immediate custodial sentence,” he warned.

In statement on the ISPCA website Inspector Lyons added: “It has been a long ongoing journey since 2017. The five-year disqualification was upheld by Judge Comerford and this man was held accountable for his offences.

“Any more dogs remaining on his property will be surrendered to the ISPCA within fourteen days."

“We would like to thank An Garda Síochána for their help in bringing this case to a final conclusion and to also remind pet owners of their legal responsibility to safeguard the welfare of the animals in their care under the AHWA 2013,” she added.

“It can take the months of care and rehabilitation to get a rescued animal back to a healthy condition, and many people don’t realise that seized animals may need to be detained pending court case outcomes. This can take a huge amount of time and resources, before such animals can be permanently re-homed,” she explained

Members of the public should report animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA in confidence by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515.

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