Tipperary woman banned from keeping dogs following animal cruelty conviction 1 month ago

Tipperary woman banned from keeping dogs following animal cruelty conviction

The woman threatened to close the electric gate to the property with the ISPCA inspector still inside.

Warning: Readers may find the content of this article upsetting.

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A Tipperary woman has been fined and banned from keeping dogs following the discovery of three dogs in poor condition on her property.

Michelle Connolly with an address at Killard, Puckaun, Nenagh, Tipperary pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) 2013 on Thursday (12 May).

ISPCA Animal Welfare Inspector Emma Carroll called to Connolly's property in February 2019 following a complaint.

Inspector Carroll told Nenagh District Court that Connolly was “hostile and uncooperative” and claimed that Inspector Carroll “had no right to be there” and should “leave immediately”.

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Connolly threatened to close the electric gate to the property with Inspector Carroll inside at one point.

Carroll examined a number of dogs, and discovered three dogs in a small cage behind a trailer.

The dogs - two Maltese and a poodle - were in poor condition.

One had red raw skin, another was underweight with matted hair and a discharge, and a third had no hair on its tail.

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Connolly initially denied knowing anything about the dogs, before making contact with ISPCA a month later following their removal from the property looking for their return.

Connolly declined surrendering the dogs to the ISPCA, which left the animals detained for three years pending the court appearance, which incurred substantial sums to the charity.

Donal Smyth, solicitor for Michelle Connolly, suggested that forfeiture of the dogs would be “severe for a first offence”.

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Judge Elizabeth McGrath disagreed and ordered the forfeiture, saying “I don’t want the three dogs to be traumatised”.

Judge McGrath fined Michelle Connolly a total of €2,000 and said she would accept an offer of €5,000 in compensation in lieu of awarding costs against Ms Connolly.

Judge McGrath also disqualified Connolly from owning, keeping or breeding any dog, other than the two Great Danes already in her possession, for 10 years.

“These three dogs suffered unnecessarily without adequate feeding or a proper level of routine care," Inspector Carroll said.

"The owner responsible for them failed to do anything to alleviate their suffering, or safeguard their welfare, which resulted in many issues, including malnourishment and untreated skin conditions.

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"There is no excuse for animal cruelty and as a result the owner has a criminal conviction for animal cruelty”.

If you have any animal welfare concerns, you can report them to the ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 0818 515 515, via email helpline@ispca.ie or via their website.