Dog breeding

Dog breeding: Carlow man sentenced in court

A Carlow native has been banned from owning dogs for life following a court appearance following an investigation into illegal dog breeding.

Myles Fitzgerald, with an address in Craanpursheen, Ballon, appeared before Carlow District on Wednesday September 29e 2022.

In testimony, ISPCA inspector Fiona Conlon told the court how she went to the defendant’s property on Monday, March 15.e2021. The court heard this was in response to a report of a possible illegal dog breeding operation at the above address.

She described in court how she found many dogs of different breeds, many of which were used for breeding.

She listed Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Bichons, Cockapoos, German Shepherds, Terriers and Lurchers.

Conlon found much of the accommodation “to be unsuitable due to insufficient light and ventilation, damp and dirty bedding, and lack of visual stimuli.”

Additionally, she detected several immediately recognizable physical well-being issues.

These included:

  • Coats “severely” matted, stained with urine and feces;
  • skin problems;
  • Overgrown nails;
  • Smelling ears with moist matter inside.

She told the court there were immediate concerns for thirteen dogs, who were handed over and taken for veterinary assessment.

Seven were found to have ear infections and seven also needed immediate dental treatment.

She pointed out that it was a “commercial” operation and that the defendant had “made money from the suffering of these dogs”.

Conlon reported that all of the removed dogs had recovered and been rehomed.

She said they were “now living the life they should” and showed the judge photos of some of the dogs after they had been rehabilitated.

To research

Brendan O’Flaherty, defending, cited other cases Detective Conlon had brought to court, which he considered “more serious”.

He pointed out that all the dogs survived and suggested that they were all in “good physical condition”. Inspector Conlon admitted that they “weren’t hungry”.

Mr O’Flaherty also pointed out that his client cooperated with the removal of the dogs. He said Mr Fitzgerald’s vet was consistently pleased with his client.

In response, Inspector Conlon asked if this vet had seen the dogs in question. Mr. O’Flaherty admitted not.

Judge Carthy commented that the facts were “raw” and that the photographs presented by Inspector Conlon were “heartbreaking to see”.

Mr Fitzgerald produced €3,500 in court to cover the costs. Judge Carthy imposed an additional €3,000 fine and banned Fitzgerald from keeping dogs for life.

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