Woof justice: Dog-owners in Roscommon refuse to pay fines

None of the on-the-spot fines issued to dog owners in Co. Roscommon were paid last year, statistics released by the Department of the Environment show.

  Four penalties were handed out to people in the county caught without a licence or who failed to clean up after their pets, but all were unpaid. The fines for the offences are €100 and €150 respectively.

  Co. Roscommon was one of only three regions in the country – the others were Galway city and Tipperary – which recorded a zero per cent compliance rate in 2015.

  The rate nationally was also poor: only 858 of the 4,849 penalties handed out were paid, meaning four out of five dog owners flouted the law.

  However, the amount of individual dog licences obtained in Co. Roscommon rose by almost 10 per cent last year, with 3,298 compared 3,003 in 2014.

  A dog pound is run on Roscommon County Council behalf by Midland Animal Care at Rockfield, near Roscommon town. Two full-time dog wardens are employed at the pound.

  However, the service ran a deficit of €141,543 last year, with an income of €60,813 and expenditure of €202,356.

  A total of 237 strays were accommodated at the pound in 2015, with 73 surrendered and nine seized. The remaining 155 were classified as ‘strays entering the pound’.

  Of the 237, 19 were later reclaimed and 47 rehomed. 112 were transferred to dog-welfare groups; 51 were euthanised; four died by natural causes; four were still in the pound on December 31st last.