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Woman charged with animal cruelty could barely afford to feed family – court told

The two boxer dogs which were taken into ISPCA care and rehomed.

The two boxer dogs which were taken into ISPCA care and rehomed.

A RAPHOE mother-of-two who neglected to take care of two boxer dogs left with her by her former partner has been disqualified from keeping animals for two years. Louise Gallagher (40) of 2 Meadowhill was before a recent sitting of Letterkenny District Court charged with animal cruelty and not having a dog licence.

ISPCA Inspector, Mr Kevin McGinley gave evidence that at the request of An Garda Síochána he visited the home of Gallagher in Raphoe where he found two boxer dogs in ‘poor condition’ on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. “When I went out to the back yard and saw the two dogs I was immediately struck by their appalling condition. You could see their rib cages and feeding utensils were empty.”

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Judge Paul Kelly heard the defendant said the dogs were ‘in a bad way’ and agreed to sign them over into the care of the ISPCA. Mr McGinley added that Gallagher also told him that the dogs belonged to her former partner, Mr Dean Kelly who was now residing at 9 St Eunan’s Terrace, Raphoe, and she had fed them ‘the best she could’.

The dogs were subsequently examined by a vet and found to be half their ideal body weight. The following day they were sent to an ISPCA home in County Longford for rehabilitation. Mr McGinley said they were later re-homed in County Meath.
Solicitor, Mr Frank Dorrian told the court that the dogs belonged to Gallagher’s former partner who had departed and left the dogs at the residence.

“My client who was taking care of the dogs as best she could with her 12-year-old son was quite relieved when the ISPCA inspector and gardaí arrived. She had no hesitancy in handing over the dogs into the care of the ISPCA. She had barely managed to feed her family with subsistence funds and did her best with the dogs.
“My client is very embarrassed and regrets not taking care of the dogs enough, but I would submit that this is more a case of neglect rather than animal cruelty.”

Inspector Goretti Sheridan informed the court that costs of taking care of the two dogs by the ISPCA had amounted to €650. Judge Kelly disqualified Gallagher from keeping animals for two years and adjourned the case until June 9 to allow the defendant to make some progress on raising funds to cover the ISPCA’s costs.

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