Cappoquin man sentenced to three months for illegal puppy farm

A Cappoquin man has been sentenced to three months imprisonment after he admitted to nine offences under sections 11, 12, and 13 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

Michael Lenane, aged 65 years, had kept 42 dogs and puppies in converted sheds at his home. They had very little room to move or express normal behaviour.

One shed was used for housing expectant mothers and their pups but was in complete darkness and had little ventilation. Some of the dogs in this shed had no water and others had inadequate bedding, meaning young puppies were left lying on bare, hard surfaces.

Many of the dogs had dirty, matted coats, overgrown nails, and painful and infected teeth and gums. The adult dogs also had nervous dispositions because they had little to no interaction with humans for breeding purposes.


The ISPCA, Waterford SPCA, Waterford County Council, and members of An Garda SΓ­ochΓ‘na conducted a search of the premises on Thursday, March 25th, 2021, following a report that there was an illegal dog breeding establishment operating at the address.

Mr Lenane was subsequently served a closure notice under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act.

The judge on the case, Brian O'Shea, disqualified Mr. Lenane from keeping dogs for life, fined him €2,000, and ordered that he pay €2,770Β  in veterinary and legal costs.

Giving evidence, ISPCA Animal Welfare Inspector Alice Lacey explained how it took months of rehabilitation before any of the adult dogs were ready to be rehomed because of their fear of people.


"Lack of interaction and any form of stimulation meant that they were nervous of human contact and this is something that no dog should have to bear. Thankfully, with intervention and proper care and rehabilitation, these dogs and puppies were able to start their journey to a new life,” Alice said.

The 29 dogs and puppies that were most affected were surrendered to the ISPCA and taken into the care of Waterford SPCA. They are among the other 300+ dogs that ISPCA Inspectors removed from illegal breeding establishments in 2021.

The ISPCA encourages members of the public to continue to report any animal welfare concerns to their National Animal Cruelty Helpline or report it online here.

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