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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 …

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Attack on house of Clare Dog Warden

THE Ennis home of Clare County Dog Warden Frankie Coote came under attack on Wednesday night. Windows of his house were smashed by men wielding hatchets, while his van and his wife’s car were also attacked. Speaking on Thursday Mr Coote said, “It was exactly nine o’clock, I was just going watching the news, and the window of the house came in. I thought it was shotguns, I heard bang, bang, bang, but it was two people attacking the van and the wife’s car with hatchets. There was awful damage done.” He said that confrontation has been a frequent reality of his job, but it is very upsetting having it come to his home. “It was worse for my wife than myself. I’ve been assaulted, different things have happened me to do with my job, but nothing at the house.” Mr Coote said that thousands of euros worth of damage had been done. He said he spoke to one of …

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Ennis dog pound deaths decrease

CLARE dog warden and chair of the ISPCA in the county, Frank Coote has revealed that less than 20 dogs were put down at the county dog pound in 2017. This figure compares to several hundred in 2016 and 1,500 per annum at one stage. When he started in his role, Mr Coote said, more dogs were being put down in Clare than anywhere in Europe. “I’ve never seen it any better. We didn’t have to put down a dog for three months at one stage. In total, we put down 19 dogs in 2017, whereas we used to put down 600 to 700 in previous years in the pound alone,” he explained. “I was putting down 1,500 dogs one time. That’s what was happening. That was about 10 years ago. I used to put down 35 to 40 dogs every Friday. The vet has been in three times in the last month and they were all for vaccination, microchip …

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A gorilla from the sea!

CLARE dog warden Frankie Coote is currently storing the arm of what appears to be a gorilla or chimpanzee in a freezer, as he seeks to establish for certain the precise origin of the limb. Kilrush gardaí were contacted last week, when a member of the public found the arm on the shoreline in Kilkee. However, while Mr Coote said the find is “unusual”, he has experience of coming across exotic animals in his line of work. “I got a call a few years ago from the cattle mart in Scariff, where a giraffe had come in. It turned out it belonged to a circus and it had strayed away. I’ve seen elephants around too. The unusual fact about this is that the limb found in Kilkee is not native here. It’s all guesswork for me,” he said. “We’re appealing that somebody would come forward with a view to establishing what it is and where it came from. Kilrush gardaí …

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Poison bait danger to pets

DOG owners in the Tulla Road and Knockanean area of Ennis are being advised to keep their pets under control following two separate incidents where traps were deliberately left in open areas. In the first incident, poison-laced food was picked up by a German Shepard that subsequently died, while in another incident, a dog had to have surgery after swallowing a sausage baited with a treble fishing hook. County dog warden Frankie Coote has appealed to dog owners to be on the alert when out walking their pets and to ensure they remain under their control at all times. “This is very sinister. Although we did have a couple of incidents last year where cats were poisoned and shot with air guns, the use of the treble hook is new to me. I would just ask people to be on alert, keep their pets under control and that way they can’t pick up anything harmful,” he said. “If pets are …

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Clare dog warden retains post

Clare County Council has awarded a 24-month contract to Midland Animal Care Limited, from County Offaly, to run the Clare Dog Warden Service from January 1. The successful contractor has confirmed to the council its decision to maintain the current employment status of the existing dog warden and kennel assistant. The contract includes the management of dog control throughout Clare, and the running of the dog shelter at the Gort Road, Ennis. Kieran O’Donnell, Clare County Council’s procurement unit, said, “Midland Animal Care Limited met all of the criteria which the council set out in its tender process. Midland Animal Care Limited is also running both the Offaly and Roscommon Dog Warden Services and therefore, has an established track record.” James Barry, senior staff officer, environment directorate, added, “Clare County Council is confident of a seamless transition from the ISPCA to Midland Animal Care Limited. The council acknowledges the role played by ISPCA in operating the service since the opening of the …

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ISPCA street protest over dog pound

SUPPORTERS of the ISPCA retaining control of the Clare County Pound will hold a peaceful protest on Saturday in O’Connell Square, Ennis, at 11am. This follows last Saturday’s event, in which organisers say between 100 and 200 people came out to back their campaign. Protesters marched carrying placards and chanting slogans supporting the ISPCA and dog warden, Frankie Coote. An online petition calling for the pound to remain in the hands of the ISPCA has received 1,500 signatures so far, with further signatures being gathered on paper at the protests. The protests have been organised by the group Protecting Pound Dogs in Ennis County Clare. The county pound has been run by the ISPCA, with Frankie Coote as dog warden, for decades. The running of the pound has now been put out to tender, with protesters fearing that it will be removed from the ISPCA. Clare County Council insist that no decision has been made on the contract. A spokesperson …

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Dog warden confronted by the ‘Hakka’

CLARE’S dog warden has told a court how an Australian woman confronted him at Ennis Pound, as if she was doing the “Hakka”, and demanded to see the “f-ing dungeons”. Frankie Coote, dog warden for County Clare, was giving evidence in the case of Gillian Le Francois, aged 46, of 3 Saint Francis Terrace, Kilrush Road, Ennis, who denied engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour at Ennis Dog Pound on August 6 last. Describing the way he was confronted by Mrs Le Francois, Mr Coote said, “the only way I can put it is it was like a Hakka, the woman was coming up into my face”. He said she “went to attack me” and had called another employee names. Mr Coote said Ms Le Francois told him that she was entitled to see “the f**king dungeons” at the pound, and when he told her “there are no dungeons”, “she tried to push past” him. Mr Coote said he …

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