Dog Complaint Reporting

Local authorities may investigate complaints about dogs.

Animal Welfare

If you are concerned an animal is being cruelly treated or neglected, please call the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) on 0818 515 515 (Callers from outside of Ireland should use +353 43 33 25035)

The National Animal Cruelty Helpline operates Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm and treats all concerns in the strictest of confidence.

Outside of these hours, if you feel your call is an emergency, please contact your local Garda Station.

Further information can be found on the ISPCA website.

Dog Barking

Carlow County Council does not deal with Excessive Barking complaints. However, excessive barking which causes a nuisance to any person is an offence and can be dealt with in district court.  Section 25 of the Control of Dogs Act, 1986 deals with nuisance by barking dogs.

The first thing to do is to try is to speak to the dog owner in a good-neighbourly manner and let them know how the barking affects you. They may not have realised what is happening. 

If this approach fails a complaint about excessive barking can be made by you to the District Court. 

To do this you must first inform the dog owner in writing of your intention to make a complaint to the district court using the form.

Contact the Carlow Court Office by clicking here

Dog Fouling

Carlow County Council endeavours to protect the public from the dangers of dog fouling. Not cleaning up after your pooch can have detrimental health consequences for the public especially young children.

Dogs are carriers of dog roundworm (Toxocara Canis) which can be transmitted to humans through eggs in dog faeces. Contact with infected dog faeces can cause loss of sight with children particularly at risk.

Children are the group most susceptible as their immune systems are underdeveloped and risks of contamination are higher when children play outdoors in neighbourhoods where dog owners do not responsibly look after dog waste.

Carlow County Council implement an ‘Any bag, any bin’ policy, which means that dog foul materials may be placed in any public litter bin once it is bagged. If no bin is available, the owner should take the material home for appropriate disposal.

Where Dog fouling occurs and is not immediately removed and properly disposed of by the owner of the Dog, this is an offence under Section 22 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997. This is a difficult section to impose as it requires witness of the fouling, identification of the dog owner, and the witness to be able to testify that the owner left the waste.

Complaints in relation to dog fouling can be made by contacting the Environment Section. 
Phone: 059 9136231

Sheep Worrying

Sheep worrying is a big issue for Sheep farmers at anytime of the year but it is hugely problematic when it happens during the lambing season (December to May approx). Sheep worrying occurs when dogs chase sheep, injure them and or kill them. Sheep are flight animals, i.e. they flee when they perceive danger.

The damage caused can be visible - wounds.  Often the sheep are still alive but they have very bad injuries.  Often these injuries are untreatable and they have to be put to sleep.  Other damage caused is less visible to the sheep e.g. if they are in lamb they often abort their lambs. After a dog worrying episode the sheep can become terrified of dogs and can make life very difficult for the sheep farmer as sheep dogs are used routinely to herd sheep.  Thus routine farm tasks become very time consuming for the farmer. The above causes economic losses and makes for a difficult working environment for the farmer.

Even though dogs have been domesticated for a long time, they have not lost their basic instincts.  These instincts include a strong predatory drive. The chase instinct can be triggered by the sight or the movement of animals. Thus humans should not be shocked that the family pet dog would chase or worry sheep. Any breed of dog can be involved in a sheep worrying killing episode. 

In this the Lambing Season extra vigilance is required by dog owners - be you a rural dweller or if you walk your dog in the countryside at this time of year.  Any dog including family pets can become involved in a sheep kill if we (humans) give them the opportunity. The dog owner is liable for any damages arising. Dogs must be kept under control at all times. In certain circumstances it is legal for farmers to shoot dogs on sight if they are trespassing on their lands.

Complaints in relation to sheep worrying can be made by contacting the Environment Section. 

Phone: 059 9136231
Out of hours: 087 2366139

Stray Dogs

Stray, unwanted, unlicensed or wild dogs should be referred to the Carlow / Kilkenny dog warden located at Garryduff, Paulstown, Co Kilkenny, R95 WK68.
Phone: 059 9726785