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Waterford man sentenced for animal abuse and neglect

A Waterford man has been sentenced to three months in jail for severe animal abuse and neglect.

According to the ISPCA, Michael Dunphy of Clonard Park, Ballybeg was charged with keeping animals in various states of neglect on his property, with the prosecution coming after inspections by ISPCA Senior Inspector Alice Lacey.

Mr Dunphy was sentenced to three months imprisonment and was also disqualified from keeping dogs for 10 years and ordered to pay €3,222 in costs (vet costs and legal fees), having admitted to various offences taken under the 2013 Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) 2013.

The ISPCA inspections took place in October 2021, following complaints made to the ISPCA by members of the public. During the inspection, a number of dogs were found in inhumane conditions.

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One dog had to be put to sleep immediately on arrival to the vet due to fatal injuries, most of his jaw was missing, his teeth were exposed this led to a fatal infection.

Dogs were also found with other injuries and skin conditions; some dogs were malnourished, and all dogs had a lack of appropriate shelter some in extremely small dirty spaces with damp bedding or no bedding.

Commenting on the sentencing, ISPCA Senior Inspector Alice Lacey said:

“I am saddened that someone can allow an animal to needlessly suffer without taking any action to alleviate that suffering, to stand by and not be compelled to do something as a matter of urgency. This case encompassed many animal welfare issues, from injury, to malnourishment and a serious lack of appropriate animal husbandry. It is a strong reminder to people that animal cruelty and neglect is something which will not be tolerated in this country and the ISPCA are tackling these issues head on. Today’s imposing of a custodial sentence gives me confidence that subsequent court cases relating to animal welfare will continue to be dealt with (hopefully) with the same fervour. For those dogs removed that day, I hope some form of justice has been attained for them. Patch, Titch, Floe, Lola, Sandy & Joe all went on to make full recoveries and found wonderful homes.”

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The case was taken by the ISPCA’s Senior Inspector after a member of the public made a welfare complaint regarding continuous barking at the property. After inspection two dogs were taken for immediate veterinary care due to their condition Six dogs in total were then taken to an ISPCA facility for rehabilitation and rehoming.

Chief ISPCA Inspector, Conor Dowling commenting on the case said:

“ISPCA inspectors like Senior Inspector Alice Lacey are at the forefront of animal welfare in Ireland. These inspectors respond to allegations of cruelty, neglect and abuse and also to aid sick and injured animals on a daily basis. It is sad and unacceptable where we have cases of such neglect that we have to put an animal to sleep. We were pleased to be able to take six dogs to the safety of our rehabilitation centre prevent further suffering and now they will be in homes where they will be loved and cared for.”

The ISPCA encourages members of the public to continue to report any animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 0818 515 515, email [email protected] or report online here.

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