A 52-year-old man who punched two young puppy dogs and threw them over a wall was last week given a suspended sentence, in a case which Judge Catherine Staines described as being the most gruesome she has ever heard in all her time on the bench.
Jason Moosa, of 18 Buttercup Avenue, Esker Hills, Portlaoise, was convicted back in March of two counts of animal cruelty. The offences were committed at his home on June 3, 2013.
The March court heard Moosa beat the dogs and threw them over a wall after they urinated and defecated in his kitchen.
The puppies lay in a bush for five days before being rescued by members of the Cara Rescue Dogs group, and were left blinded and suffering with severe head trauma following the attack.
Judge Staines said the offence merited a custodial sentence, but due to Mossa’s age, lack of previous convictions and his history of schizophrenia, she imposed 240 hours’ community service in lieu of ten months prison, to be performed preferably with an animal charity.
She also ordered that a fine of €1,000 be paid to the ISPCA.
When Mossa returned to the district court last Thursday, October 9, a community service report revealed that he is unsuitable for community service due to health problems. In that event, Judge Staines imposed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years on his own bond of €100.
Mossa also handed in a contribution of €2,000. Judge Staines directed that this be paid to the Cara Rescue Dogs group, who had cared for the puppies.
“This was an extremely serious attack on these young animals and it was the most gruesome details I’ve ever heard during my time on the bench,” declared the judge.
The full details of the attack were given at the March court by Inspector John Lawless.
Insp Lawless said Mossa punched the two young puppy dogs and threw them over a wall into a bush where they lay for five days before being rescued by the Cara Rescue Dogs group.
The inspector gave evidence that the dogs were in a very distressed state when they were found, having been blinded and left with severe head and brain trauma. The puppies were severely dehydrated, and were recovered with bites on their bodies which were the result of attacks from rodents or birds.
Insp Lawless said that when arrested, Moosa admitted beating the dogs and throwing them over a wall after he came down one morning to find they had urinated and defecated in his kitchen.
Defence for Mossa was provided at that court sitting by solicitor Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick, who admitted the case was “one of the most unpleasant and repulsive matters that may have come before this court”.
Ms Fitzpatrick explained that Moosa had been persuaded by a neighbour to buy a puppy, and Moosa took one dog and then took another to keep the first dog company.
Ms Fitzpatrick explained that Moosa had medical difficulties and on the night in question had experienced nightmares, and when he came downstairs to find the dogs had defecated and urinated he “completely lost his mind” and assaulted the dogs with his fist.
So lifeless were the puppies that Mossa thought they were dead and so dumped them in a bush, Ms Fitzpatrick said.
Members of Cara Rescue Dogs were present in the district court both when the case first appeared in March, and when it was finalised last week.