A Carlow couple was convicted of 60 offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA), including causing or permitting animal cruelty contrary to section 12 and failing to protect the welfare of an animal contrary to section 11.
Jim Kavanagh and Jenny Kavanagh of Raheenleigh, Myshall, Co Carlow had pleaded guilty in October 2018 to 30 charges each having initially faced a total of 252 charges. The remaining charges faced by Mr Kavanagh were taken into consideration.
Judge McCourt imposed a three-year jail sentence and banned James Kavanagh from keeping dogs or equines for life; he was ordered to pay costs of €35,000 to the ISPCA.
Jenny Kavanagh was sentenced to a 12-month custodial sentence fully suspended and banned from keeping any dogs for 15 years.
The case was initiated after ISPCA Animal Welfare Inspectors and members of An Garda Síochána carried out a joint search of the premises on April 14th 2015.
The ISPCA along with other organisations rescued 340 dogs and 11 horses from the premises; the scale of the rescue is the largest the ISPCA had ever carried out.Animals were transported to ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford, the ISPCA Equine Rescue Centre in Cork and other welfare groups across the country.
ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: “The living conditions these animals had to endure can only be described as squalid. Many of the animals did not have access to water or suitable food.”
The ISPCA issued an emergency appeal for donations to assist with the financial pressure of caring for such a large number of animals.
The direct costs including veterinary treatment exceeded €60,000. Most of the animals required some form of veterinary treatment and then had to be vaccinated, microchipped, administered with treatments for parasites such as fleas and worms, and neutered/spayed before being responsibly rehomed.
The ISPCA also covered veterinary costs incurred by its affiliated members and other rescue organisations that were in a position to help.
Image source: ISPCA