When Joey, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Bichon Frise, or 'Cavachon', went missing from near his home on Monday 3 October, his owners were devastated, but none more so than his canine brother, Toby.
Thankfully by Saturday, Joey was found - for sale! Suspicions were raised with ISPCA inspectors at Ballinsloe October Fair where a little dog was being offered to visitors for cash. Scanning the dog's microchip, they realised he had an owner, and was missing. This gave the inspectors all they needed to legally seize him - and discover it was the much-missed Joey.
“This is further evidence, if it was needed, of the value of microchipping,” commented ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling. “Without Joey’s microchip, we could not have established that he was missing and the ISPCA and Gardaí would not have had grounds to intervene."
There is an ongoing investigation into the incident. Joey and his family had an emotional reunion, but it wasn't the only story of the day. The ISPCA seized a further 27 dogs at the fair under the Animal Welfare Act - all were either sick, in a poor state, or were illegally docked.
“This year in Ballinasloe we were made aware of a number of rescue organisations that were buying animals in order to ‘rescue’ them instead of raising their concerns with the ISPCA or An Garda Siochana,” said Dr Kelly. “Whilst buying animals may be very tempting, it is the opinion of the ISPCA that it simply perpetuates the problem and the sellers will be back in future years with more animals to sell."