ISPCA rescues 140 dogs in Leitrim

The ISPCA said the dogs were living in 'deplorable conditions' at a property in Co Leitrim. Photograph: Shelley Corcoran

The ISPCA said the dogs were living in 'deplorable conditions' at a property in Co Leitrim. Photograph: Shelley Corcoran


The largest canine rescue in the history of the State has taken place over five days as more than 140 dogs were recovered from a rural property.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said the animals were living in “deplorable conditions” at the property in Co Leitrim.

The ISPCA said it required the co-operation of three other organisations –Leitrim Animal Welfare, Dogs Trust and County Veterinary Offices – for the rescue.

The dogs were mostly Bichon Frise crosses, King Charles Cavaliers and Shih Tzus – and ranged in age from puppies right through to mature dogs.

The majority were heavily matted and were suffering from skin, eye and teeth problems.

The female owner of the animals was described as “a dog hoarder”, which is someone who keeps and breeds dog without re-homing or having the necessary space, funding or ability to care for the animals.

She had been making efforts to feed them but the situation had “spiralled out of control” due to “the sheer number of animals”, said the ISPCA.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling described the condition of the animals as “appalling”.

“Their coats were extremely matted with a mix of sawdust, dog faeces and mud. Many had thick dreads of matted hair right down to their skin, and their legs were soaked in urine.

“Many of the animals were also suffering from eye problems and one had to have an eye removed while the ISPCA was forced to put another animal to sleep, which is hugely disappointing.”

Leitrim County Veterinary Officer James Madden said the woman was breeding some of the animals, but that it also appears as though she was taking in abandoned animals at the property.

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