Waterford woman ordered not to keep dogs after "deplorable" discovery

78-year-old Anna Butler had pleaded guilty to charges

Waterford woman ordered not to keep dogs after "deplorable" discovery

Image: ISPCA

A woman has been told she cannot purchase or have dogs in her possession after admitting an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

78-year-old Anna Butler - of Hillview in Waterford City - had pleaded guilty to failing to safeguard the health and welfare of nine dogs in August 2016.

Responding to a call made to the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline, Inspector Alice Lacey visited Ms Butler's home.

She discovered nine Wheaten Terrier dogs living in "horrendous conditions" in the back yard.

Inspector Lacey described the property as "absolutely deplorable and covered in faeces".

She said: "The smell was so over powering and there were flies everywhere.

"The dogs had no water or dry area to sit down.

"Most of the dogs were confined to dog crates and they were soaked in their own urine. One dog was squashed into a dark pen that had a concrete block covering the door".

Image: ISPCA

All dogs were signed over to the care of the ISPCA.

Veterinary exams revealed that two of the dogs were severely emaciated, weighing only nine kilograms.

Another dog had a burst ulcer on his face and an injury to his leg that was left untreated. Some others had extremely bad teeth.

The dogs were extremely aggressive and in poor condition.

On veterinary advice and after numerous consultations, the decision was made to put all nine dogs to sleep.

"Deplorable and unacceptable"

The court heard that Ms Butler was a member of the Irish Kennel Club who has a long history of breeding Wheaten Terriers.

Judge Kevin Staunton said the dogs had been "very badly treated" and said of Ms Butler: "She is simply not in a position to look after dogs. Whatever talents she had in the past, she has not now. She does not have the wherewithal to look after any amount of dogs, in my view."

Image: ISPCA

Judge Staunton did take into consideration Ms Butler's age and medical condition, but felt a severe sanction was necessary, saying: "I am satisfied that the sentence must be marked by a formal disqualification.

She is now prevented from keeping dogs under Section 61 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

She was also fined €100 and ordered to pay €697 in veterinary costs.

ISPCA Inspector Lacey said: "The ISPCA welcomes the court order imposed in this case.

"The ISPCA does not tolerate any form of cruelty, neglect or ill-treatment of any animals.

"In this instance, for an Irish Kennel Club breeder to subject her own animals to these living conditions, was deplorable and unacceptable.

"As an animal owner, you have a legal obligation to provide for that animal both physiologically and mentally".