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Dog warden needs Garda protection in Ennis

CLARE’S county dog warden cannot go into parts of Ennis without garda protection, he has revealed. Frankie Coote, whose house was targeted by an unknown hatchet-wielding assailant just last week, says there are areas of the county capital where it is unsafe for him to do his job. “There are areas in Ennis, I won’t name them, that I can’t go
in without the gardaí. I said to one woman who made a complaint [about the treatment of animals] that I can’t go down because they will wreck my house. She just said ‘I don’t give two fs about your house, I’m just worried about the animals’.” He continued, “Three or four times me and the girl working with me here have had to get a garda to go with us. It’s a pity; we are just trying to do our job. It might just be something small like checking a licence or trying to find a stolen dog. It’s not that we won’t go in, we can’t go without the gardaí. And even if we do have to take an animal from someone, there is a reason for it and it’s the law.” Last Wednesday, Mr Coote’s home and two vehicles parked outside were attacked, causing thousands of euros worth of damage. This isn’t the first time he has been targeted. Some years ago he was treated in hospital after an assault on the roadside and recently The Clare Champion outlined how motorists spat at the warden, while he tried to save a dog on the motorway. Despite this, Mr Coote says the majority of his dealings with the public are positive and he has received a “huge amount” of support from people after last week’s incident.

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