29 Jan 2022

Edgeworthstown family suspected of running illegal puppy farm to face Circuit Court

Edgeworthstown family suspected of running illegal puppy farm to face Circuit Court

Several members of an Edgeworthstown family that gardaí suspect of running an illegal puppy farm have been served with the book of evidence and will go to Circuit Court.

Jonathan Wykes, Jane Ward, Margaret Stokes, Johanna Wykes and Chantel Stokes, all of Lisnanagh, Edgeworthstown appeared at last week’s sitting of Granard District Court and will reappear at Longford Circuit Court on June 1.

A sixth family member, Kevin Stokes was due to appear at Tuesday’s sitting of Longford District Court to also be be served with the book of evidence.

Almost 30 cats, dogs, kittens and puppies were seized from the family’s property in a multi-agency search last year and were placed in the care of the ISPCA.

Solicitor, Fiona Baxter, reminded the court that, at a previous court sitting, the family“signed over all but two of the animals” and added that those two dogs had not yet been returned.

Sgt Mick Hogan of confirmed to the court that, on that previous court date, there was an agreement that all but two of the animals would be rehomed by the ISPCA but that the two dogs in question would be “retained by the ISPCA pending the outcome of this case”.

“There was no question of them being returned before then,” he inisted.

“Judge Keenan Johnson will have views on those dogs too,” said Judge Hughes.

“Ms Baxter, I love the way you phrased it and dragged the sergeant into it. ‘We handed over the dogs’. There was no handing over. The gardaí came and took them.

“But that’s not a matter for today. You can make a police property application but it won’t get much oxygen until the Circuit Court proceedings are finished,” he concluded.

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