An animal charity is appealing for emergency donations after more than 140 animals were seized by gardaí over welfare concerns.
The animals, which include: 46 rabbits, 37 chickens, 31 dogs, nine guinea pigs, nine pigeons, six geese, six goats, two ponies and their foals and a heavily pregnant donkey, were locked in cages, hutches, pens and sheds 24 hours a day.
Wednesday of last week the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) inspectors responded to a call from the gardaí after they raised serious concerns for the welfare of a large number of animals on a petting farm in north County Dublin.
This is the largest intake of animals for the DSPCA at any one time.
Most of the dogs seized were female and many were nursing puppies, as were many of the rabbits. All of the dogs had matted coats, which were shaved clean by the groomers.
The DSPCA say they will be seeking new homes for the animals shortly, including launching a special appeal to re-home the dozens of rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, and roosters.
A charity spokesperson said: “It has been a very difficult, emotional and extremely busy week for all the staff. Seeing innocent, young and vulnerable animals being kept in these conditions is absolutely heartbreaking.
“It was immediately clear that all the animals were in need of veterinary care and needed to be removed from the location as a matter of urgency. The animals were surrendered to the DSPCA and a large operation took place to remove over 140 animals which were all checked by the DSPCA veterinary team.
“This is the largest number of animals that we have had to deal with in any one time and we are in need of emergency donations. So matter how small or large a donation we would be very appreciative.
“The DSPCA wishes to acknowledge and thank the Gardai for their vigilance and assistance in this matter.”
The DSPCA and Gardai will be seeking a prosecution under section 61 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.