Hundreds of dogs and horses rescued from horror puppy farm
An animal rescue operation involving 340 dogs and 11 horses at a farm in Carlow was completed yesterday.
The sheer size of the rescue operation by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) at the puppy farm in Myshall was unprecedented and lasted nine days.
The puppy farm was the subject of an official closure notice after animals were discovered in a distressed state.
Several ISPCA officers, as well as gardai and officials from the Department of Agriculture and the local council, were involved.
Most of the dogs were transported to the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Keenagh, Co Longford.
Horses were taken to the ISPCA Equine Centre in Mallow, Co Cork.
The ISPCA said the majority of the dogs had heavily-matted coats and they were also suffering from chronic skin, eye and teeth problems.
A number of them had untreated injuries which were infected, causing further suffering. Their paws were also badly infected from being soaked in urine.
"The conditions in this dog breeding establishment were absolutely shocking and it was imperative that it be shut down," ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling said.
"We welcome this as the first closure notice to be served since the implementation of the Dog Breeding Establishment Act and we are delighted we were able to remove so many animals where their welfare was compromised," he added.
"This is an appalling and horrific case," said ISPCA chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly.
"Many of these animals were living in squalid conditions and there were dead animals scattered around the site.
"A large number of animals are now in the care of the ISPCA and we will be working very hard to provide them with veterinary care and rehabilitation and will eventually be seeking to rehome them.
"I want to make it absolutely clear that the ISPCA will not tolerate animal abuse of any kind and we will do all we can to shut down places like this.
"We will be calling on the Department of the Environment to revise the DBE to allow random and unannounced inspections of all registered breeding establishments".
The ISPCA issued an emergency appeal yesterday for donations to help care for the animals. The public can donate by visiting the ISPCA's secure website on www.ispca.ie.
Each year it costs €1.4m to run ISPCA services, and almost 90pc of this comes from public donations.