Woman who took in dog after son’s tragic death is banned from keeping animals

March 22, 2022

A woman who took in her late son’s dog after he was tragically killed in a road crash has been banned from keeping animals from five years.

Pensioner Chrissie McGinley appeared at Letterkenny District Court charge with mistreating the dog at her home at Glenwood Park in Letterkenny.

The court was told the dog, a male huskey, was kept in a pen in “filthy conditions.”

Senior inspector with the ISPCA, Kevin McGinley, said he was requested to attend a property at Glenwood Park on September 13, 2019 by Garda Sandra Kilcoyne.

Gardaí had initially visited the property in relation to another matter, but became concerned for the dog.

Inspector McGinley told how the dog’s coat was ‘extremely matted and filthy’.

The dog, named Beckham, was underweight and living conditions in the pen were described as ’fifty’. Mr McGinley said the pen was covered in dog faeces and muck.

McGinley, aged 68, identified herself as the owner of the dog and told how she took ownership of the dog following the death of her son.

McGinley, who was not in court for the hearing, voluntarily gave up the dog and Mr McGinley brought the animal to a vet.

The ISPCA senior inspector told how the vet said the dog was ‘under condition’ with regard to nutrition, rated two out of five.

“A dog like this would require regular grooming,” Mr McGinley said, adding that 2.2kgs of matted hair was removed from the dog in order to give a better quality of life.

The dog has since been re-homed and was said by the inspector to be doing well.

Solicitor for the defendant, Mr Rory O’Brien, said his client ‘took on a responsibility she wasn’t capable of doing’.

“She is 68 years old and is asking me to convey her apology, for what it is worth, to the ISPCA,” Mr O’Brien said. “He is hopeful that the dog is in a better place.

“She subsumed responsibility for the dog when her son died in a car accident. There were sentimental circumstances.”

Mr O’Brien said his client, who has no similar previous convictions, was co-operative and had entered a plea.

Judge Deirdre Gearty convicted McGinley, fining her €200 and giving five months to pay. McGinley was disqualified from keeping animals for a period of five years.