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Animal Cruelty

In photos: ISPCA report reveals cases of starving dogs and ponies in filthy conditions with no water

In 2016 inspectors initiated 32 prosecutions and saw 15 finalised in court.

Warning: this story contains graphic images. 

THE ISPCA NATIONAL Animal Cruelty Helpline has received over 53,000 calls since the Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) came into force three years ago on 6 March 2014.

ISPCA inspectors have carried out 11,065 investigations and over 2,795 animals were seized or surrendered. A total of 92 prosecutions have been initiated, 25 of which have been finalised in court to-date.

The ISPCA launched their 2016 Inspectorate Report today which outlines the animal cruelty prosecutions initiated by the ISPCA which were finalised in the courts in 2016.

The report reveals that 16,312 calls were made to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline resulting in over 3,200 investigations where 995 animals were seized or surrendered.

Here are just some of the cases outlined in the report: 

In Carlow, a horse was euthanised on humane grounds after it was discovered in poor condition with cracked hooves, swelling on its face and discharge from its nose.

Wicklow man convicted under Animal Health and Welfare Act

In Mallow, four husky puppies were found in a filthy pen with no access to food or water. A female husky was chained in a disused building and living in a dark, dirty area with no access to food or water. The five dogs were seized and transported for veterinary assessment.

All of the dogs were surrendered to the care of the ISPCA and were responsibly rehomed.


A six-year-old Labrador had to be put down on humane grounds after it was found emaciated and barely able to walk in Navan, Meath.

The dog was also suffering with a severe chronic skin condition over the entire lower half of her body resulting in complete hair loss, thickening of the skin and infection.


In Waterford, an 8-year-old West Highland Terrier was humanely euthanised after it was discovered with a horrific untreated skin condition. It was being kept in a shed and had chronic inflammation to her skin and ears. She was also diagnosed with cancer.


In Donegal, a donkey that was too weak to stand, two emaciated calves and an emaciated pony were all euthanised on site after being discovered. Seven other ponies were also surrendered to the care of the ISPCA.

Donegal man faces custodial sentence after dead and emaciated an

ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said, “The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 which came into force three years ago was a significant step forward for animal welfare in Ireland, but like any legislation it is only as good as its enforcement.

Our Inspectors became authorised officers under the AHWA in May 2014 and since then have used their statutory powers effectively to deal with animal neglect, cruelty and abuse.

“In 2016 alone, our inspectors initiated 32 prosecutions and saw 15 finalised in court with successful conclusions.”

Kelly added, “We currently only have eight inspectors covering 17 counties. Our resources are stretched to breaking point and we need more inspectors on the ground dealing with animal cruelty.

“Our aim is to recruit enough inspectors to cover the whole of the country and we would like to appeal to the animal loving public to help us with this work.”

Read: Woman in her 40s questioned after almost 28,000 cigarettes destined for Moore St seized in house>

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