Wicklow man fined for keeping dogs in ‘horrendous’ conditions

Animal welfare charity found two dogs kept in ‘filthy’ pen without access to fresh water

A man in Co Wicklow has pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences after keeping two dogs in conditions described as "horrendous" by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA).

In a statement, the animal welfare charity said Norman Valentine, from Kilbaylet Upper, Donard, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty to offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 in Carlow District Court last Thursday.

The charges related to the care of an English springer spaniel and a shih tzu, who had been found living together in a “filthy” pen.

ISPCA inspector Fiona Conlon gave evidence to the court about the conditions the dogs were kept in, which she observed while investigating an unrelated complaint on January 14th, 2021.

Ms Conlon said the two dogs “were living in horrendous conditions in a filthy pen with no dry sleeping area”, and were both filthy with matted hair.

The animal welfare inspector said the springer spaniel was limping and appeared to be blind, while the shih tzu was shivering.

The ISPCA statement said the dogs did not have access to fresh drinking water and there was no way to access the pen they were kept in.

The two dogs were surrendered to the animal welfare charity and their pen had to be partially dismantled to retrieve the animals.

The charity said a veterinary surgeon assessing the dogs confirmed the springer spaniel was blind and emaciated, with a number of health problems including arthritis. Due to the condition of the dog the animal was euthanised.

The shih tzu, which was named Milo, was also emaciated as well as being matted and soiled throughout his coat.

The charity said Judge Geraldine Carthy fined the defendant €1,100 and ordered the man to pay costs of €1,500 to the prosecution and €667 to the ISPCA.

Commenting on the case, Ms Conlon said the conditions the dogs had been left living in “were absolutely dreadful”. The shih tzu Milo’s coat was “so matted it was hard to distinguish the head from the rear,” she said.

The charity said Milo has since made a full recovery and has been rehomed.