We receive thousands of calls to our animal helpline


We receive thousands of calls to our animal helpline

9 March 2017
After the Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) came into force three years ISPCA's National Animal Cruelty Helpline received over 53,000 calls. ISPCA Inspectors have carried out 11,065 investigations and over 2,795 animals were seized or surrendered.

A total of 92 prosecutions have been initiated, 25 of which have been finalised in court to-date.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) is today highlighting the constant demand on resources and the difficult and often horrific scenes of animal neglect and abuse encountered by ISPCA Animal Welfare Inspectors.  With 90% of ISPCA income received from public donations and through gifts in wills, the ISPCA rely heavily on public support to continue their vital work preventing animal cruelty and alleviating animal suffering.

Today the ISPCA launched their 2016 Inspectorate Report at the Department of Agriculture which focuses primarily on animal cruelty prosecutions initiated by the ISPCA which were finalised in the courts in 2016.

The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 which came into force three years ago was a significant step forward for animal welfare in Ireland, but like any legislation it is only as good as its enforcement. Our Inspectors became authorised officers under the AHWA in May 2014 and since then have used their statutory powers effectively to deal with animal neglect, cruelty and abuse. In 2016 alone, our Inspectors initiated 32 prosecutions and saw 15 finalised in court with successful conclusions.

Although we would like to see stronger penalties for animal cruelty to act as a deterrent, we would like to get the message across that all animal owners and anyone who looks after animals have a legal obligation to provide them with their welfare needs. Failure to do so will result in them being held to account. The ISPCA will not tolerate animal cruelty and will do all that we can to stamp it out in Ireland. However, we currently only have eight Inspectors covering 17 counties.

Our resources are stretched to breaking point and we need more Inspectors on the ground dealing with animal cruelty. Our aim is to recruit enough Inspectors to cover the whole of the country and we would like to appeal to the animal loving public to help us with this work.

ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly

Minister Michael Creed, who officially launched the Inspectorate Report on behalf of the ISPCA said that the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine fully supports the ISPCA Inspectorate team and congratulates them on their work investigating allegations of animal cruelty to domestic animals. The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (which provides for authorisation of ISPCA Inspectors) is now three years in operation. He looks forward to the ISPCA’s continuing engagement with his Department in order to ensure that animals are protected and that those responsible for neglecting, abusing or cruelly treating animals will be dealt with robustly.