More victims of Ireland’s cruel greyhound industry

1 Dec

More victims of Ireland’s cruel greyhound industry. Three greyhounds used for racing, and registered with the Irish Greyhound Board, found emaciated in Waterford…

Farm labourer pleads guilty to neglecting racing greyhounds
Dungarvan Observer, 3rd November 2017

A County Waterford farm labourer pleaded guilty in the Circuit Criminal Court last week to neglecting three “racing greyhounds” which were emaciated to such an extent that one had to be put down.

David Kirwan (47) of Currabaha East, Kilmacthomas, admitted neglecting the dogs contrary to the Animal Welfare Act on March 5, 2015.

The court was told by Noel Whelan BL, for the DPP, that the Waterford ISPCA called to Mr Kirwan’s address in response to a report about two severely under-weight dogs. Two of the greyhounds were living in an outside grass pen and one was in a separate inside pen. The hounds had lesions on their legs and were emaciated with their ribcages visible. One hound had pressure sores, he said.

ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey said the poor condition of the dogs was due to being malnourished and lack of a proper diet. Two other dogs, a Rottweiler and an Alsatian, were also on the premises and both were in thriving condition.

The hounds were seized and brought to the Veterinary surgeon and on his decision one was euthanized. The other two were given specialist food and transferred to a shelter. Both made a recovery and were subsequently re-homed.

Barrister Elaine Morgan, for the defendant, said the ISPCA had to contact Sergt Alan Kissane in order to gain entry to the property and a note was left for Mr Kirwan, who acknowledged responsibility for the animals and later that day contacted Inspt Lacey. He handed over the care of the dogs to the Dog Shelter. The dogs had been wormed but they were not thriving or taking their food.

When asked for her opinion on the condition of the greyhounds in comparison to the other two dogs, Inspt Lacey said the Rottweiler and Alsatian were “pets” whereas the greyhounds had a history of racing, which was evidence from their racing tattoos and they were registered with the Irish Greyhound Board.

Sergt Alan Kissane, Kilmacthomas, said he advised the defendant to make a statement after caution in April that year. In July he arrived with a statement prepared with the help of his solicitor. The statement claimed that there was some fighting going on between the greyhounds and one had to be separated from the other two. All the dogs were fed with “racer dog nuts” and bread and were treated for fleas and dosed for worms. One had body sores because it slept on a rubber mat and not on straw. when he “signed over” the hounds he believed that would be the end of the matter, he said.

“All my life I treated my dogs with concern and respect,” he said when he broke down and wept in the Garda station.

Ms Morgan said her client was born and reared in Kilmacthomas and he lost his mother at an early age. He had no previous convictions and was engaged with an Adult Centre to deal with literacy issues. He suffered heavily from the burden of the case and presented in a distressed state throughout the process.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly said the defendant had a negative insight and at no stage did he say in his statement that he was neglectful of the animals. The offence took place in March and the statement was made in July.

It was clearly a “difficult case” and the animals suffered. It was difficult to understand how a man who kept animals professionally would allow three out of five dogs to get in such a condition, said the Judge.

Adjourning the case to January next, Judge O’Kelly said it would give the defendant time to come up with a suitable contribution to the ISPCA.

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