Couple convicted in ‘truly shocking’ animal cruelty case

Santo, who was taken from the property by the ISPCA. The dog has since been rehomed by the charity. (Pic: ISPCA)

A Burncourt couple have been convicted of animal cruelty in a case the judge described as ‘truly shocking’. Sentencing Christy O’Sullivan of Coolagarranroe to a four-month prison sentence in mid-January, Judge Brian O’Shea also convicted Mr O’Sullivan’s wife, Christina, on the same date and imposed a fine of €400. 

Sentencing was passed at Cashel District Court, where evidence was heard from ISPCA Senior Inspector, Alice Lacey who visited the O’Sullivan home in August 2022. On that visit, she found 13 dogs including a Belgian Malinois, a Belgian Shepherd, a Springer Spaniel, a Beagle and a number of terriers. Some of these dogs were living in small, rundown pens, with some of the animals kept on very short chains. On what was a warm day, not all of the dogs had access to water either.

The ISPCA reported that many of the dogs were of extremely poor body weight and suffering skin conditions, lice infestation and dental disease. The odour emanating from some of the dogs’ coats and skin was described as ‘putrid’, with three Kerry blue terriers found to be in particularly bad condition. In August 2022, all 13 dogs were surrendered.

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