WARNING: This article contains some graphic images.
A WOMAN IN Galway has been fined €250 for animal cruelty after eight neglected dogs were taken from the rescue centre she runs last year.
Sarah Gunther, who runs East Galway Animal Rescue in Moyglass, Loughrea, was charged with eight counts of animal cruelty and received the fine last Wednesday at Galway District Court.
It follows the discovery of a number of severely neglected dogs by staff of Galway SPCA, who were called to the scene in July last year.
At the premises, which has a derelict house and a number of outbuildings, GSPCA staff and gardaí, found what the charity described as “dilapidated kennels” and rubbish.
On its Facebook page, GSPCA said feed bowls were “embedded in the dirt” and a dog corpse was found in one of the kennels, as well as a number of animal skulls.
There were eight dogs in total at this location of varying breed and sizes along with one dead dog. None of which had any food or water visible. All of the dogs on site seemed in very poor condition.
Most of the dogs were bull terriers or Staffordshire bull terriers and the images from the day they were rescued show how neglected they were.
The dogs were seized by gardaí and taken to a local veterinary surgery where five were found to be in an “emaciated state”.
All eight dogs had very little muscle covering and overgrown nails. While some others had very weak hind quarters and pressure sores. The vet concluded after examination that it was evident that these animals were totally neglected, not fed properly, not cared for and it was the worst case of neglect and animal cruelty that he had ever experienced.
Sarah Gunther pleaded guilty to the eight charges and received a fine of €250.
On her rescue centre’s website, the organisation says its goal is to inform people about bull breeds and their potential to make loving pets, as many people are wary of them.
“We have had many success stories in the past and very few dogs have proved to be unhomeable,” it says. “EGAR has a strict non-kill policy; the only exception is terminal illness. Unhomeable dogs stay with us for the rest of their natural lives.”
The dogs seized last year are all in the care of GSPCA but there is a chance that the now healthy, well cared for animals will have to be handed back to the person charged with neglected them.
Gunther told the court hearing last week that she would like to have the animals back and can now make an application to gardaí to have them returned to her.
GSPCA said it will be making “every possible effort” to prevent this and a petition started last week now has more than 2,500 supporters.