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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 17 January, 2020
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140 dogs saved in biggest canine rescue in State history

More than 140 dogs were rescued from a property in rural Leitrim, where they were living “in deplorable conditions”.

Jin, one of the dogs who was rescued
Jin, one of the dogs who was rescued
Image: ISPCA

FOUR ANIMAL ORGANISATIONS worked together to undertake the biggest dog rescue in State history, removing in excess of 140 canines from deplorable conditions in Leitrim.

The ISPCA said this evening that it collaborated with Leitrim Animal Welfare on an operation to arrange the rescue of over 140 dogs from a property in a rural area of mid-Leitrim where they were living “in deplorable conditions”.

The dogs were found to have urine, faeces and sawdust embedded in their matted fur, while one dog had to have its eye removed.

The ISPCA said it is the largest case of dog rescue in the history of the state and required the co-operation of four organisations working together to rescue the canines: the ISPCA, Leitrim Animal Welfare, Dogs Trust and County Veterinary Offices.

‘Heavily matted’

The dogs were mostly Bichon Frise crosses, King Charles Cavaliers and Shih Tzus, said the ISPCA, and ranged from puppies right through to mature dogs.

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

According to the charity, the owner of the animals is a dog hoarder. This is a person who keeps and breeds dog without rehoming or having the necessary space, funding or ability to care for the animals, and although she had been making efforts to feed them, the situation had spiralled out of control due to the large number of animals on her property.

The ISPCA is hoping that a prosecution may take place over the dog hoarding.

The situation was described by Leitrim County Veterinary Officer, James Madden, as an extreme case of dog hoarding. He said the woman was breeding some of the dogs, but it also appeared that she was also taking in other abandoned animals.

ISPCA Chief inspector Conor Dowling said:

The condition of the animals was appalling, their coats were extremely matted and many had thick dreads of matted hair right down to their skin. Their coats were also matted with a mix of sawdust, dog faeces and mud 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 while being a mercy there wasn’t more than one.

It took five days to collect and rescue the dogs and take them to the different animal welfare centres, where they were groomed and examined. It is believed the dogs have all been rehomed or are in the process of rehabilitation in order to be rehomed.

One rescued dog, Jin, is pictured below during the grooming process, where the matted hair was removed.

Some of these photographs may be distressing for readers, so caution is advised.

140 dogs saved in biggest canine rescue in State history
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  • Rescued Jin before being shaved

  • Jin pre-shave

  • Grooming rescued dog Jin

  • Jin being groomed

  • Jin after being groomed

  • Grooming

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