A petition calling on Fingal, South Dublin, and Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Councils, and Dublin City Council, to re-tender for their dog pound and warden services has garnered nearly 20,000 signatures. The Councils currently pay over one million euro to Ashton Dog Pound, which is currently being investigated by Gardai for animal cruelty, for those services every year.
The petition was started after a Gript investigation revealed that hundreds of dogs in Ashton had been improperly put down by untrained staff “estimating” the amount of drugs that would be required to euthanise a dog; a situation which recently caused a dog to live in pain for somewhere in the region of 24 hours as the drugs it was given caused its organs to slowly fail.
The petition also calls for the immediate implementation of measures designed to increase transparency; safeguard against non-aggressive dogs being euthanised; improve the standard of animal welfare at the pound; and ensure people can easily check if their dogs are in Ashton before the 5 day waiting period is up and the dogs could be euthanised.
Signatories also want to see regular, unannounced spot checks of the facility by bodies “not affiliated with the council or the pound”, and whose reports on the pound would be made public. All the Councils involved have told Gript that inspectors regularly make unannounced visits to Ashton in order to ensure the animals were being cared for and that the facilities are of the required standard. However multiple sources with intimate knowledge of the pound recently told Gript that it was “routine” for injured or ill animals to be refused medical care as it was viewed as a “waste of money” as the dogs “would be dead soon anyway”, and dozens of Council inspections somehow failed to notice that, or the hundreds of improper deaths of dogs we know took place in Ashton.
Samantha Dooley, the creator of the petition, told Gript that she had been horrified when she had read our first story about Ashton and had reached out to Councillors in Fingal County Council to verify the story. She found that multiple Councillors in Fingal had made complaints about the pound, and that Councillors such as Tania Doyle (IND) and Deirdre Heney (FF) had been raising issues with the pound for years.
Samantha said that when she went looking for others experiences of Ashton she found “many stories…heart-breaking stories that are difficult to ignore….most of what I read were complaints about cruelty or people losing their dogs and claiming the pound didn’t contact them, instead killing their dog.” Samantha added that “if the Councils hesitate under such serious allegations this time, we as a community of Dubliners must ask for a government inquiry into Council management.”
The petition can be read HERE.