Waterford woman who left pet German shepherd emaciated banned from owning dogs for life 3 years ago

Waterford woman who left pet German shepherd emaciated banned from owning dogs for life

Warning: The images contained in this article are graphic and may cause upset.

A woman from Waterford was given a lifetime ban on owning any dogs and ordered to pay €1,665 in costs after admitting to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide sufficient quantity of wholesome and uncontaminated drinking water to a German shepherd dog.


On 20 May at Waterford District Court, Louise English, with an address at Ballybeg, Waterford City, was convicted of the two offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA).

The case originated from a complaint made to the ISPCA in May 2018 by a concerned member of the public about a dog kept in poor condition.

ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey investigated the call to discover a 10-month-old male German shepherd dog kept in the garden of the property in an emaciated condition and missing hair from most areas of its body.

Inspector Lacey described how there was an overbearing odour coming from the dog’s skin due to the severe skin condition from which it was suffering. There was also no visible food or water bowls present.


Warning: Graphic images below

Waterford dogs

waterford dog


Under caution, the owner admitted that she had not sought veterinary treatment for the dog’s skin condition and agreed to sign the dog over into the care of the ISPCA.

The dog, later called Rocco, was transported to the nearby City Vets in Waterford City where he was urgently assessed and treated by a vet. Rocco was suffering from severe sarcoptic mange, he had ear mites and a high temperature. Once he was responding to treatment, he was transferred to the Waterford SPCA for care and rehabilitation.

ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey said: “It took several months of rehabilitation for Rocco to recover from a skin condition that could have been prevented by regular parasite treatment.

“He is such a beautiful-natured young dog and it was totally unacceptable to find him in this situation at such a young stage in his life. There is simply no excuse for failing to provide the very basic level of care which would have prevented unnecessary suffering.”


Judge Kevin Staunton added: “I am absolutely appalled at the photos of this dog, the worst I have seen. To think this dog was only 10 months old when taken in by the ISPCA. In the photos he looks like an elderly dog at the end of his life.

“This case is, in my opinion, on the upper scale of seriousness.”

The ISPCA says that the case highlights the impact that ISPCA Inspectors are having on animals who need its help to alleviate their suffering.

The ISPCA is reminding pet owners of their legal responsibility to safeguard the welfare of animals in their care under the AHWA 2013 and encourages members of the public to continue to report any animal welfare concerns online or by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515.

Members of the public can help the ISPCA continue its vital work by making a donation online to help animals suffering now.