rsz_n8s1pic1 (1)On Monday, May 22nd at Waterford District Court, a woman was ordered to “refrain from purchasing or having in her possession, or under her control, any dog” after admitting an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare Act.
Ms Anna Butler (78) of Hillview, Waterford City had pleaded guilty to failing to safeguard the health and welfare of nine dogs in August 2016.
Responding to a call made to the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline, Inspector Alice Lacey visited Ms Butler’s home and discovered nine Wheaten Terrier dogs living in horrendous conditions in the back yard.
Inspector Lacey described the property as absolutely deplorable and covered in faeces. She said: “The smell was so over powering and there were flies everywhere. The dogs had no water or dry area to sit down. Most of the dogs were confined to dog crates and they were soaked in their own urine. One dog was squashed into a dark pen that had a concrete block covering the door”.
All dogs were signed over to the care of the ISPCA. Subsequent veterinary examinations revealed that two of the dogs were severely emaciated weighing only nine kilograms. Another dog had a burst ulcer on his face and an injury to his leg that was left untreated. Some others had extremely bad teeth.
The dogs were extremely aggressive and in poor condition. On veterinary advice and after numerous consultations, the difficult decision was made to put all nine dogs to sleep.
The court heard that Ms Butler was a member of the Irish Kennel Club who has a long history of breeding Wheaten Terriers.
Judge Kevin Staunton commented that the dogs had been “very badly treated” and said of Ms Butler “She is simply not in a position to look after dogs. Whatever talents she had in the past, she has not now. She does not have the wherewithal to look after any amount of dogs, in my view.”
Judge Staunton did take into consideration Ms Butler’s age and medical condition, but felt a severe sanction was necessary saying: “I am satisfied that the sentence must be marked by a formal disqualification”. This was in the form of an order under Section 61 of the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013 preventing her from keeping dogs. She was also fined €100 and ordered to pay €697 in veterinary costs.
ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey said: “The ISPCA welcomes the court order imposed in this case. The ISPCA does not tolerate any form of cruelty, neglect or ill-treatment of any animals. In this instance, for an Irish Kennel Club breeder to subject her own animals to these living conditions, was deplorable and unacceptable. As an animal owner, you have a legal obligation to provide for that animal both physiologically and mentally.”
* Members of the public should continue to report animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890-515-515 or report cruelty online in confidence on