Animal welfare case hears about dogs and ferrets kept in squalor
Distressing details of conditions in which pets were housed at his home were given to the District Court as Darragh Doyle (28) from Clonroe, Gorey was prosecuted for breaches of animal welfare.
Eleven dogs and five ferrets were kept in squalor, with pens covered in faeces, and some of the dogs were underfed.
The case prosecuted by Garda Catherine Keogh dated back to an inspection of the premises in October of 2016.
Peter Murphy, 45 years qualified as a vet, was called into the witness box to give evidence of what he found when he was called to examine the scene by the NWSPCA.
He reckoned that three of the dogs were puppies, no more than four or five months old.
They were being kept in conditions which the witness described as deplorably unhygienic.
He was particularly concerned about a hunting dog which was kept on a chain, found with no food or drink available to the animal.
The vet also examined two lurchers which appeared well nourished, though the terrier with which they shared a pen was thin and undernourished.
A group of four lurchers penned elsewhere on the property had no water at the time of the inspection.
The pens he looked at that day were all covered in faeces and urine.
One of the dogs, when released, immediately began to consume scummy water, suggesting that it had not had access to proper drinking water.
Peter Murphy reckoned there was no attempt to practise what he called reasonable hygiene in caring for the dogs.
It was a similar story with the ferrets whose accommodation had not been cleaned out for months, though there was evidence that meat had been purchased for them.
Three of the eleven dogs were significantly undernourished and they were seized – one black lurcher, a white terrier and the dog on the chain.
Dog warden John Colfer told the judge that one of these three had to be put to sleep, while the other two were re-homed.
Defending solicitor Lana Doherty said that the confiscated trio had only been with her client for a week after he offered to assist them.
Garda Keogh said that she had called back to Clonroe since to find an improvement in the cleanliness in which Doyle’s dogs were kept.
He now had just a lurcher and a small bitch, she reported.
Ms Doherty accepted that her client obviously had too many animals for him to cope with at the time of the inspection.
Judge Gerard Haughton said a lot of suffering had been caused to a number of the dogs.
He set a fine of €250, plus €450 expenses, with a formal order not to keep any more than two dogs at a time.