PETITION TARGET: The leadership of South Dublin County Council, Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Fingal County Council
The owner of a Dublin dog pound with a history of alleged abuse, four shelter staff, and a veterinarian have been charged with animal cruelty, following an investigation into the deaths of two dogs at the pound last July by the Irish National Police.
Ashton Pound Owner David Stone has been officially charged with three charges under the Animal Health and Wealthfare Act, including two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an Akita and Bichon Frise who died at the shelter and one count of killing a protected animal or causing or permitting another person to kill a protected animal, according to the Irish Examiner.
Veterinarian Sydney Nagle has been charged with possessing a controlled drug, for the purpose of selling or otherwise supplying it in violation of drugs regulations and laws. Nagle also is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs, with causing or permitting another person to kill a protected animal, and with failing to keep adequate records of purchase and sales.
Three shelter staff — Gordon Markey Quinn, Raymond Connolly, and Tamara Philips — also have been charged in the case with killing or permitting another person to kill a protected animal. Connolly faces an additional charge of obstructing a national police agent from doing her job, according to The Irish Times.
Pound Manager Donal Maroney also is facing animal cruelty charges, with allegations that he allowed a white Bichon Frise and a fawn-colored Akita to be killed via ingested, controlled euthanasia drugs, and allegations that he failed to comply with a Garda requirement to immediately get veterinary help for the Akita, according to Independent.
Judge John Lindsay has adjourned the cases at Dublin District Court to November to allow for attorneys and staff to prepare a book of evidence on the cases.
Meanwhile, the four councils have contracted with Midland Animal Care Ltd. for shelter services — ending a years-long relationship with Ashton Dog Pound.
South Dublin County Council recently announced choosing the business, established in 2014, for a 12-month contract starting Oct. 1, according to Echo.
Midland Animal Care — which operates Hollygrove Kennels in Newcastle, employs 17 people, has working relationships with four registered veterinary practices to provide medical care, and works with 15 rescue organizations to rehome dogs — also is the choice for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and Fingal County councils. Dublin City Council also is using Midland on a temporary basis for dog shelter services, according to Independent.
The councils sought new providers after Ashton Dog Pound and staff became the subject of an investigation into animal cruelty by the Irish National Police. Three shelter staff, a veterinarian, and the pound owner have been charged with animal cruelty, with sentencing expected this month.
Ireland’s Party for Animal Welfare (PAW) applauded the Garda for a meticulous investigation and also said animal welfare nonprofits will keep watching developments, including the new provider.
“Appropriate sentencing must be meted to deter future for-profit businesses, like Ashton Pound, making fortunes on the backs of stray animals,” PAW told Lady Freethinker. “Midlands Animal Care (the new service) will be scrutinized by every welfare organization in Ireland. There must never be a repeat of Ashton).
UPDATE (7/22/2021): Following an investigation by An Garda Síochána, four people and one commercial enterprise have been charged with a number of offenses relating to the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, a Garda spokesperson told Lady Freethinker.
One of the four individuals has also been charged with a number of offenses relating to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 and the European Community (Animal Remedies) Regulations 2007.
All four individuals have been bailed to appear at the Criminal Courts of Justice on August 6 2021.
UPDATE (7/8/2021): The Dublin City Council is no longer sending dogs to Ashton Pound but hasn’t been able to find a replacement despite offering a €400,000 annual contract, the Irish Times reported.
The council said they received applications from several organizations, none of which were approved following compliance checks and evaluations.
The council is working with a number of organizations to provide short- and medium-term care for Dublin’s lost, abandoned, and surrendered animals, while looking to provide its own shelter that would have three authorized officers and dog wardens.
The Gardai investigation remains ongoing.
UPDATE (6/10/2021): The South Dublin County Council has decided to go with a new pound provider this year, following a Garda investigation into Ashton Pound over allegations of animal cruelty. In May, the council offered the contract for dog pound and dog-related services to Dublin Animal Welfare Pound Partnership. The council had first offered the one-year contract to Midland Animal Care Ltd, which then withdrew from the tender process.
UPDATE (3/11/2021): Dublin’s four councils have put out a tender for a new dog-centered shelter, following allegations of poor conditions at Ashton Dog Pound. The new shelter will aim to reunite, re-home, or foster out dogs, with dog wardens employed separately by Dublin City Council to encourage dog rescues and animal welfare groups to apply, according to FM104.
We’re going to keep watching the situation in Ireland, and we encourage the Dublin councils to remain committed to putting animal welfare first when it comes to picking a new provider.
The bodies of five dead dogs are now part of an ongoing investigation by the Irish National Police into alleged animal cruelty at a Dublin Dog Pound.
Agents with the An Garda Síochána, or Gardaí, in June seized the dead bodies of the innocent dogs, as well as bottles of unsecured euthanasia drugs, after a whistleblower reported that staff of Ashton Dog Pound were mixing the euthanasia drugs with dog food of dogs scheduled to die.
The drug is supposed to be injected by a trained vet. Instead, the dogs who ate the drugs allegedly were left to suffer painful, prolonged deaths of intense suffering as their organs slowly shut down, according to the whistleblower and as reported by multiple Irish news sources.
Irish councillors also have spoken up against treatment at the pound, with one councillor calling conditions she witnessed during an unannounced visit “Dickensian.”
“In front of me on a very bleak afternoon, I saw numerous dogs on cold wet concrete floors with no drainage, heat lamps supposedly in place to keep the animals warm not operating, no appropriate bedding in place,” Cllr. Tania Doyle told the Dublin Gazette.
The investigation remains ongoing, but one person has already been arrested. Meanwhile, Dublin’s councils have to decide whether they will renew a $1 million-plus contract for pound services to Ashton Pound.
The dogs at this Irish pound deserve justice. The four Dublin councils must take every possible step to ensure immediate and lasting change happens at this pound.
Sign this petition asking the four Dublin councils to demand the immediate removal of any personnel found complicit or negligent in the dogs’ care, additional oversight of pound operations, and established and enforced animal welfare guidelines countywide.
Then read the Lady Freethinker story about conditions at the pound here.