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Woman convicted for possessing stolen dog that was found dead at Tipperary property

ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey said the case “emphasises the value of having your dog microchipped”.

Two other dogs found at the same property were also seized by the ISPCA.
Two other dogs found at the same property were also seized by the ISPCA.
Image: ISPCA

A WOMAN HAS been convicted of handling stolen property, after an ISPCA inspector found a dead dog in a concrete yard in Co Tipperary.

Bridget Beer appeared before Carrick-on-Suir district court in Co Tipperary last Thursday charged with handling stolen property, contrary to section 17 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

The case arose from a visit made by ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey to No. 1 Willow Close, Carrick-On-Suir, Co Tipperary in April last year at the request of the local dog warden.

Inspector Lacey described to the court how she saw three dogs, one of which was deceased, in a concrete yard to the back which was covered in dog faeces, plastic, and various other types of rubbish. She said that there was also raw meat scattered throughout the yard and the smell was putrid.

  • Read more here on how you can support a major Noteworthy project to find out if enough is being done to protect our pooches from trafficking.

tipperary-woman-convicted-for-possessing-stolen-dog Source: ISPCA

The deceased dog’s previous owner

Local Gardaí were contacted and Garda Shane Roche attended the scene.

Inspector Lacey seized all three dogs. Neither of the live dogs, a female brindle Whippet and a female black hairy Lurcher, were microchipped – but a microchip was detected in the deceased dog, another Whippet.

On running the microchip number, Inspector Lacey found that this dog’s name was Stan and that he had been reported lost, suspected to have been stolen.

The court also heard from the dog’s owner, Sean Redmond, who described how Stan went missing on 1 November 2019 along with another dog. Stan’s companion arrived home around 10 days later but they never saw Stan again.

Inspector Lacey also described how Beer made contact with the ISPCA in response to notices left at 1 Willow Close, and how she later spoke with Beer by telephone.

In the course of the conversation Beer claimed, while under caution, that she had hand-reared the deceased dog from two days old with a bottle and milk. She also stated that she was no longer living at 1 Willow Close but was returning daily to feed the dogs.

Giving evidence in her defence, Beer stated that the dog she said she had hand-reared was one of the other dogs. She claimed to have bought Stan through an online advert but could not identify the seller stating that the dog was delivered to her home.

She asserted that she didn’t know that the dog was stolen and would have returned it if she had. Beer also claimed that she had brought Stan to a vet to be treated for mange but could not explain why he was not scanned for a microchip during the examination.

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Verdict

Saying that he was taking the evidence of Inspector Lacey in its full totality, Judge John O’Leary convicted Beer. He said that she had been reckless in her behaviour and that he would have imposed a custodial sentence only for the fact that Beer has a three-year-old son.

Judge O’Leary adjourned the case until 7 October by which time he said Beer must pay Redmond €500. Redmond addressed the court to say that he would prefer that the money went to the ISPCA.

Lacey said the case “emphasises the value of having your dog microchipped”.

“While we were not able to reunite Stan with his beloved owners, at least there was some form of justice for him and them. If he had not been microchipped, today’s conviction would not have been possible and Stan’s owners would never have known what became of him. Thankfully there was a happier outcome for the other two dogs that were seized which found loving new homes”.

“I would like to thank the Redmonds, we know how traumatic it is for people when a cherished pet is stolen,” Lacey said. “I would also like to thank Garda Roche for his assistance and for putting today’s case forward.” 

The ISPCA is encouraging members of the public to continue reporting any animal welfare concerns online here or by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 0818 515 515 or by emailing helpline@ispca.ie.

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