A Waterford man has been convicted of animal welfare offences to a white German shepherd dog found on his property in February 2018.
The Waterford city man was fined €500 with six months to pay, under Section 11 (1) of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA) whilst taking into consideration the other charge under Section 12 (1) (b). The man was also ordered to pay €271.57 in veterinary costs.
The case originated from a complaint made to the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline by a member of the public.
ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey visited the property in early February to find nobody at home, but when she looked over the side gate of the house she saw a German shepherd cross in poor body condition, so Inspector Lacey left a notice for the owner to contact her.
The owner made contact with Inspector Lacey and upon a subsequent visit he signed over one of the dogs, later named Skye, into ISPCA care.
A veterinary assessment determined the dog to be in extremely poor body condition. The skin on the dog’s legs and ears was raw, which may have resulted from an untreated parasite allergy.
In court, Judge Staunton said: "The dog obviously wasn't thriving and his owner should have noticed this and dealt with it, but he didn't.”
Inspector Alice Lacey said: “Despite Skye’s neglect, she turned out to be a wonderful dog. Skye was extremely nervous when brought into ISPCA care at first, as her confidence needed to be built back up. It took Skye a number of months to get back to a healthy normal weight. It takes very little to provide an animal with basic needs, and Skye had suffered unnecessarily for a period of time.”
Following Skye’s rehabilitation, she was responsibly rehomed where she is now being loved and cared for.
The ISPCA continues to work with pet owners to offer advice on how to improve their pets’ welfare and through education provides the opportunity for members of the public to address concerns that have been highlighted.
The ISPCA reminds pet owners of their legal responsibilities under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 that there is no excuse for failing to provide basic levels of care for their pets.
Members of the public should continue to report animal welfare concerns by contacting the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or report cruelty online in confidence online.