An animal cruelty case described by a local solicitor as “one of the most unpleasant and repulsive matters” to come before Portlaoise District Court resulted in a 52-year-old man last week receiving community service and a €1,000 fine.
The court heard that in June last year Jason Moosa, of 18 Buttercup Avenue, Esker Hills, Portlaoise, punched two young puppy dogs and threw them over a wall into a bush where they lay for five days before being rescued by members of the Cara Rescue Dogs group. Inspector John Lawless gave evidence that the dogs were in a very distressed state when found, having been blinded and left with severe head and brain trauma and were severely dehydrated. They were also left 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 Moosa was Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick, who admitted the case was “one of the most unpleasant and repulsive matters that may ever have come before this court”.
Defence 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 said that Moosa had medical difficulties and on the night in question had 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 they that he thought they were dead and so dumped them in a bush.
“He’s absolutely ashamed of himself,” said Ms Fitzpatrick. “He’s truly sorry.”
“This is absolutely abhorrent, for two defenceless little animals to be beaten in this way,” declared a visibly moved Judge Catherine Staines.
The judge 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, and a fine of €1,000 to be paid to the ISPCA.
The matter has gone back to October 9.