Probationary report sought in case involving 88 counts of animal cruelty in Listowel

A probationary report has been requested in the case of a Listowel man indicted on 88 counts under the Animal Health & Welfare Act – including cruelty and the abandonment of 22 animals.

38-year-old Thomas Doyle of Fourhane, Listowel appeared before Tralee Circuit Criminal Court in relation to the incidents, alleged to have occurred on dates unknown between December 23rd and 20th 2015.

The defendant also appeared on an 89th count, brought under the Control of Dogs Act, of a failure to bury the carcass of a foal.


The court heard the testimony of investigating Detective Garda Sergeant Shane O’Driscoll who had ‘personally witnessed the plight’ of the animals at Mr Doyle’s residence on December 30th, 2015.

He told prosecuting barrister for the State Tom Rice he’d witnessed a Jack Russell chained to a gate and a ferret in dirty bedding with no water.

A white collie dog was chained to a pole while a pig was found in soaked bedding. A cock-hen was discovered in a hutch with bedding containing faeces and two miniature black pigs were found in a cage with no food.

A goat was discovered in a horsebox with a dead foal; two more goats were discovered, one with an ingrown horn limiting its movement.

Two canaries were found in a caravan with no water along with three hamsters in a soiled cage. Two white rats and four ducks were also discovered with no access to food.

Defence barrister Katie O’Connell said Mr Doyle had made a ‘full and frank’ admission and had become overwhelmed since his mother died.

Judge Thomas O’Donnell sought a probationary report, reserving his decision until the November 30th sitting of Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.