A court order was made limiting the number of dogs kept at the Halfmoon halting site in Windgates, Bray, Co. Wicklow to one per adult or a maximum total of five. Judge David Kennedy made the order after a man pled guilty to two offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.
The case came about as a result of an inspection conducted by Gardaí and ISPCA officials in April 2014 in the course of which a dead dog was found. The dog, a young Lurcher, was found to have died from parvovirus and had not received any veterinary attention prior to its death.
ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling told the court that the condition, which is highly infectious between dogs, can cause a slow lingering death. The court also heard that there were numerous other dogs on the site on short chains.
In addition to the court order, Judge Kennedy imposed a fine of €150.
“We are pleased with the resolution of this case” commented ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling, “The Animal Health and Welfare Act has allowed for the number of dogs kept on this site to be legally capped at a manageable level”.
Alan Rossiter, vet in Blacklion Pet Hospital Greystones and chairperson of the Animal Welfare Committee of Veterinary Ireland said "Parvovirus is an entirely preventable disease and in reality anyone who does not have their dog vaccinated is taking a grave risk with the health and welfare of their dog. Death from parvovirus is slow and painful and even with veterinary treatment most will die. It is distressing to see a case like this but I hope it will serve as a deterrent going forward. The major significance of this case is that it is the first of its kind under our new Animal Health and Welfare Act and as such it sets a precedent that one is now open to criminal prosecution for failing to seek veterinary attention for an unwell dog."