Pensioner ordered to make donation to ISPCA after dog attack

January 16, 2020

A dog owner has been ordered to pay €200 to charity after his Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog attacked another small dog while he was out walking in woods.

Pensioner Neill Curran appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with not having his dog muzzled and not having his dog under control

The 72-year-old retired nurse had been playing ‘fetch and catch’ with his dog while out walking at Glenkeo Woods outside Letterkenny on May 20th, 2018.

However, the dog, which was not muzzled, took off running after picking up the scent of another dog.

When he managed to catch up with his dog, it had another dog in the grip of its mouth and was dragging it along.

The dog, a West Highland Terrier, which was being walked by a woman, was not injured.

Mr Curran, of Kirkstown, Letterkenny, brought his dog under control and put him back in his jeep but when he returned the woman and her dog was gone.

Solicitor for the accused man, Mr Seamus Gunn, said his client was a retired psychiatric nurse who did a bit of farming but was also an animal lover who also kept two collie dogs.

He said that while out walking he did not believe there was anybody else in the area before his dog took off running after he picked up the scent of another dog.

“At worst this was careless but he could not foresee what was going to happen. It is customary and dogs run free sometimes and we see it all the time on beaches.

“We have to be careful because this does occur but the last thing on his mind was that his dog was going to pick up a scent and take off like this,” said Mr Gunn.

Judge Paul Kelly said that he has said before that many dog-owners have a very different view of the world than other people.

He said the problem in this particular case is that Mr Curran’s breed of dog is a specific type of dog which was required to be muzzled by law which must be kept under control.

He said that if Mr Curran made a donation of €200 to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) then he would strike out the case.

He adjourned the case until February 17th to allow the donation to be made.