December 2, 2023

‘Shocking, very shocking’ – starving, terrified animals found in puppy farm

TERRIFIED animals were discovered almost starved to death and soaked in their own urine in a puppy farm in neighbouring county Carlow.

Details of what one senior ISPCA official described as “one of the worst cases of animal cruelty” emerged in harrowing detail at Carlow Circuit Court yesterday.

Images and videos of the animals and the poor conditions they were kept in were shown in court. Dead animals were scattered around the property.

Licensed dog breeder Jim Kavanagh, from Raheenleigh, Myshall, was jailed for three years after he pleaded guilty to 30 charges of animal cruelty. He was also instructed to pay €35,000.

Judge James McCourt also banned Kavanagh from being involved with dogs for horses for the rest of his life.

His wife Jenny Kavanagh, who pleaded guilty to 30 charges of permitting animal cruelty, was given a 12-month suspended sentence. She was banned from having dogs for 15 years.

Chief Investigator Garda Catriona Dennehy gave evidence to Carlow Circuit Court about the search on the puppy farm, which took place on April 15, 2015.

She said dogs were in cages with no water and with bedding that was urine soaked and covered in faeces.

Starving horses with bones protruding and a number of dead animals were found around the property.

Garda Dennehy said the animals were “forced to live in absolute squalor with straw that hadn’t been changed in a long time”. The dogs appeared “scared” and “unsocialised”, she said.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling described the conditions in which the animals were discovered as “shocking, very shocking”.

Mr Dowling said the condition of one animal was “one of worst cases of animal cruelty” he’d seen in a long time.

He added: “Twenty years in the job and never before have I come across something like this. The scale and severity was far and above anything I’ve come across.”



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