Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A PUPPY farm in Myshall was described as a “hell hole” by the head of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ISPCA).

More than 300 dogs and two horses were rescued by authorities from a puppy farm at Raheenleigh, Myshall last week.

Shocked members of the ISPCA and gardaí discovered dead dogs and dead horses when a search warrant was executed on Tuesday 14 April. The carcases of horses and lambs were used as a source of food for the dogs. Chief inspector of the ISPCA, Conor Dowling, said he had never witnessed such appalling conditions.

“It was pretty shocking stuff. In 16 years you see a lot in that time and you think you’ve seen it all. There is still room to be shocked even more, though, and this did. The conditions were really, really bad and the scale compounded the situation,” he said.

“There is probably not a dog coming out that won’t require some veterinary treatment.”

Fifty-two dogs and two horses were initially removed, as there were concerns they would not survive. One of the horses rescued had to be subsequently euthanised.

Many of the dogs were emaciated and suffered from ear infections, eye infections and mange, according to the ISPCA. There were puppies with bloated bellies filled with worms. One dead spaniel had a foot-long matt on its ear. The ISPCA’s chief executive, Dr Andrew Kelly, described the puppy farm as a “hell hole”.

The dogs were housed in several large sheds and there were smaller pens with bitches either in-pup or with pups.

“Essentially, these were like dark barns that a number of the dogs were in. There were small pens covered in wet straw that you would have a breeding bitch in. In some cases, there was no water or food,” said Dr Kelly.

The vast majority of the dogs were surrendered to authorities by the puppy farm owner, James Kavanagh. A closure order was served by Carlow County Council to Mr Kavanagh on Thursday evening. Mr Kavanagh said he did not wish to comment when contacted by The Nationalist. Gardaí are preparing a file for the DPP on the matter.

The grisly discovery led to an unprecedented response from the ISPCA, with staff drafted in from as far as Cork and Roscommon. Two-hundred-and-fifty dogs were removed from Myshall on Friday in a mammoth operation, while the remainder are to be taken away early this week.

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By Michael Tracey
Contact Newsdesk: +353 59 9170100

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