Offaly Man Jailed For Four Month For Animal Cruelty

  • 21/01/2020

A man has been jailed for four months after admitting to more than a dozen cases of animal cruelty.

Offaly puppy farmer, Barry Deegan, with an address of Clonminch, Tullamore, Co. Offaly admitted a total of 30 offences in contravention of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA) during a six-month period from August 2018 to February 2019.

At Tullamore District Court, Judge Catherine Staines convicted the accused on one count taking the others into consideration and sentenced him to five months imprisonment with one month suspended.

Judge Staines also imposed a €5,000 fine and imposed a lifetime ban from keeping animals on the accused and banned the keeping of animals on the lands to which the offences related.

The offences comprised causing unnecessary suffering to animals, neglecting or being reckless regarding the health and welfare of animals, failing to safeguard the health and welfare of animals and permitting carcasses to be on land or premises to which a dog may have access.

The conviction resulted from joint investigations by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) and the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) on various dates in August 2018 and January and February 2019.

The dogs subjected to cruelty included a pregnant terrier, labradors, lurchers, beagles, spaniels, puppies, various horses, foals, fowl, pigs and goats.

An initial visit made to the defendant's property by the ISPCA on August 2, 2018, uncovered an unregistered dog breeding establishment with dozens of dogs living in squalor.

This led to a multi-agency inspection involving ISPCA Inspectors, DAFM and Offaly County Council. ISPCA Senior Inspector Lisa O’Donovan, who led the investigation on behalf of the ISPCA, described what she saw to the court.

She said: “All of the dogs were living in squalor. The entire premises was filthy with little to no attention to animal husbandry.

"Many of the dogs were thirsty and drank with great gusto when offered water.

“We, the public, have a responsibility towards all animals. For years we have been advised about the dangers of buying from rogue breeders. This case highlights the unfortunate reality of what goes on in some of these establishments. We would urge people to be very vigilant if choosing to buy a puppy. No animal should have to endure suffering, especially for profit”.

ISPCA Inspector Emma Carroll described how “fleas were visible to the naked eye hopping on the coats of the dogs”.

She added: “All the dogs smelt of urine and faeces, more had sores on their bodies. Dogs were suffering from hair loss and hair matting”.

In addition to the live dogs of various breeds including golden labradors, bichon frise, dobermans, springer spaniels, cocker spaniels, mixed breeds and jack russell terriers, investigators discovered three dead puppies cast aside in the corridor of a shed.

A total of 38 dogs were initially seized but subsequently surrendered. Veterinary examinations revealed a multitude of ailments including conjunctivitis, arthritis, ulcers, lesions, parasite infestation and self-trauma.

In addition to the animals removed, a further nine puppies were born to bitches in the care of the ISPCA. While the majority of the dogs and puppies were rehabilitated and responsibly re-homed, a small number were sadly euthanised on veterinary advice due to health issues.

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Comments (1)

Said this on 22/01/2020 At 03:14 am

Four months really is this a joke? I would give him life.

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