THE STAFF at a dog pound based in Dublin have been questioned by Gardaí over allegations of cruelty at the institution.
Both wardens and management of Ashton Dog Pound, Dublin 15, were taken in to Bridewell Garda Station earlier this week as part of an investigation which was opened in July 2020.
Gardaí are investigating a number of allegations of animal cruelty which began to emerge last summer, including claims that dogs were sedated and euthanised with unauthorised veterinary drugs which left them in 'excruciating pain', Dublin Live reports.
A source told the outlet that staff in the pound were being interviewed separately, adding it was a "complex investigation".
The pound became the subject of controversy last year after a number of worrying reports of animal cruelty and neglect began circulating online: as well as the claims of unauthorised drugs causing dogs to die in excruciating pain, one whistleblower also claimed that a dog brought in to the pound with severe scalding injuries was not treated for pain, and was left whimpering and distressed before eventually being euthanised.
Gardaí searched the property in July, and seized a number of drugs, computers and documents, as well as removing a number of dead dogs in order to perform autopsies on their bodies.
All four local authorities in Dublin use Ashton Dog Pound for dog warden services, and South Dublin County Council (SDCC) have extended the contract, originally meant to expire in December 2020, until a new tender can be found.
The remaining three contracts with other local authorities are due to expire in the next year, and new tender documents are currently being prepared.
In response to questioning from Dublin Live, Ashton Dog Pound confirmed it is "co-operating with a Garda investigation in relation to an accusation regarding a specific claim".
A spokesperson said they could make no further comment due to the ongoing investigation, but insisted that the pound operates "within all current welfare standards and best practices”.