MEET the mother-of-three convicted of running an illegal puppy farm from her council-owned home.
Irr woman Anne McGarry was found to have 21 dogs on the property, including 11 females eligible for breeding – when she was searched by Offaly County Council Veterinary Inspector Aidan Grant on October 21 Last year.
McGarry appeared before Judge Patricia Cronin in Tullamore District Court on Monday, where she pleaded guilty to a charge of operating an illegal dog breeding establishment at 77 High St on the same date.
Appearing on behalf of Offaly County Council, barrister Emily Mahon explained how on that date a search was carried out on a warrant obtained by Offaly County Council of the defendant’s property at 77 High Street Birr, Co Offaly.
‘As of this date’, she said, ‘a total of 21 dogs were found in the semi-detached property which is owned by Offaly County Council of which the respondent is a tenant’.
She said of those 11 were females eligible for breeding.
Keeping more than six eligible breeding females requires a property to be registered as a dog breeding establishment under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, the court heard.
After hearing a statement of facts, Judge Cronin asked whether Ms McGarry had any previous convictions for possessing dogs.
Veterinary Inspector Mr. Grant was called to the stand.
He said Ms McGarry had not been convicted but official correspondence had been sent reminding her of her requirement to register as a dog breeding establishment for several years before the search was carried out. carried out.
Ms McGarry’s solicitor then addressed the court, saying his client had since reduced the number of dogs held at the property and was complying with current legislation.
He repeated that she had no previous convictions.
“She’s a 55-year-old woman with three children,” he said.
“She loves her dogs and had more than she should have.”
Asked what type of dogs the defendant kept, he replied that they were Golden Retrievers.
Under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act, a person convicted in the District Court can face a maximum fine of €5,000 or up to six months in jail.
But Judge Cronin said there were a number of factors she had to consider.
These included, she said, the defendant’s first plea and the fact that she had no previous convictions.
She also noted that the defendant had been cooperative following the inspection and had since reduced the number of dogs on the property.
Sentencing McGarry, she fined him €400 giving him four months to pay.
A fee of €150 was also imposed.
Ms McGarry is the latest in a string of illegal puppy breeders to be prosecuted in Offaly Courts.
In March, Maureen Mahon, the mother of state attorney Sandra Mahon, was prosecuted for the same offense.
Tullamore District Court heard Maureen ran an unregistered puppy farm for more than a decade due to ‘complete ignorance of the law’.
In total, Mahon Snr had 44 “eligible female dogs” removed from his car.
The 71-year-old was fined €1,600 and costs €700 after pleading guilty to running an unregistered dog breeding business.