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A man has taken legal action against the Garda Commissioner in an attempt to get his puppy back.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffers from a mental disorder.
After being admitted to a mental institution, he claims that the Garda obtained a court order preventing him from keeping any pets, which caused the Garda to take his puppy and give it to the DSPCA.
He claims the order against him is illegal and, in judicial review proceedings against the Commissioner of Garda, he is asking the High Court to order the dog to be returned to him.
He is also seeking an order quashing the district court orders, made under section 61 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, made against him.
He further seeks a declaration that the orders made against him under the 2013 law are unlawful and were made in violation of the principles of natural and constitutional justice.
John Berry Bl charged by lawyer Conor Ruane for the man told the High Court on Monday his client had been detained by the Gardai under the Mental Health Act following a reported disruption at the home of man a few weeks ago.
The man was then admitted as an involuntary patient to a mental institution and the dog was taken away by the Gardai.
After receiving treatment in the facility for a month, the man was released and is progressing well, the lawyer said. He requested the return of An Garda Siochana’s puppy, but he was told the dog had been repatriated by the DSPCA.
The lawyer said the man discovered that before his release, the Garda had filed a petition with the district court regarding the puppy.
Various orders and a declaration under the 2013 that he was unable to take care of an animal were obtained against the man.
The district court ordered that any animals in its possession be transferred to the DSPCA for proper care and rehousing, and that the number of animals in its possession be reduced to zero.
The lawyer said the man had never been informed by the Gardai of their intention to seek such orders. The lawyer added that it is not known where the dog is currently located.
The lawyer said that the challenge was brought on several grounds, including the fact that his client was never informed of the filing of the petition in the district court, which violates his rights to due process and the Constitution.
It is further argued that in making the order against the man, the district court acted outside its powers.
The man is the registered owner of the puppy, and it is argued that there is no impediment to his care for the dog as he is no longer being held under the Mental Health Act.
In an affidavit to the court, the man said he had “a close connection” to the dog. He got the puppy from a reputable breeder and had the dog and microchipped vaccinated.
The man also disputes Garda’s claims in district court that the puppy lived in an inappropriate environment.
The man, who is estranged from his wife and family and has lived alone, said at the time of his detention that his home “could be messy” but was in no way dangerous for the dog.
Leave to bring the appeal was granted, on an ex parte basis, by Judge Charles Meenan. The judge made the remanded case to a date in October.