A judge has ordered a man to pay over €3,000 and has banned him from owning dogs.
Lionel Beresford, with an address in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, appeared before Dungarvan District Court on Wednesday, September 22nd, 202.
He entered guilty pleas concerning several charges under sections 12, 13 and 14 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA).
The case arose after the ISPCA removed three male Foxhounds from a former hunt kennel on December 16th, 2020.
Its animal welfare inspector, Alice Lacey, responded to a tip-off from the public and found the three hounds living in “filthy” conditions.
The court heard dogs’ sleeping areas were full of faeces and muck, leaving no dry area for them to lie.
All dogs were also in poor body condition. One older hound weighed just 14.5 kilos.
On veterinary examination, he was found to have pressure sores from lying on a hard surface and had an untreated skin condition resulting in hair loss and raw, irritated skin.
On questioning by inspector Lacey under caution, Beresford admitted he had been responsible for caring for the dogs for the previous three years but only visited them infrequently.
The last time he had tended to the dogs was three days before Lacey’s visit. Beresford openly admitted to not feeding the dogs enough.
Inspector Lacey commented: “These three dogs had suffered unnecessarily over a considerable amount of time without adequate feeding or a proper level of routine care.”
“The person responsible for them failed to do anything to alleviate their suffering during that time, which resulted in many issues, including malnourishment and untreated skin conditions.”
She said this is “completely unacceptable” in a situation where the animal “relies solely” on someone to provide for them.
Banned from owning dogs
Judge Brian O’Shea convicted him on two counts, with a further seven counts taken into consideration.
The judge imposed a four-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months.
He said: “The only thing going for Mr Beresford, and the only reason he is not facing a custodial sentence in jail, is that he entered an early plea of guilty to the charges before him.”
He also fined Beresford €1,500 and ordered him to pay vet fees of €832.98 and legal fees of €1,000.
The judge continued: “These animals were neglected over a prolonged period.”
“This case is at the upper end of the range of gravity. I must give a commendation to inspector Lacey for her evidence here today in court. The swift action of the ISPCA led to these dogs being taken into care.”
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