Three beloved family dogs were seized from their home in Ballymun earlier this month and removed to a pound, as they are considered a ‘restricted breed’.

The dogs belonged to a family living on a Dublin City Council (DCC) property and had lived with the family for many years.

However, the dogs were seized just under two weeks ago, under 2007 legislation banning certain breeds of dogs from living at council-owned properties.

Jess Cosgrove said: “Our three beautiful dogs got taken from us … to a pound because we are living in Ballymun and [the dogs] are a restricted breed. These are our pets and we are all heartbroken over it.”

The three Staffordshire terriers were taken to a pound after they were seized, with their family working tirelessly to get them a place in a rescue facility.

All three dogs now live in a rescue facility in Cavan, as they had to be rehomed outside Dublin.

It is understood that the dogs will not be allowed return to the family home, unless the current legislation changes.

Included on the list of the 10 restricted breeds are Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Dobermans, Japanese Akitas and German Shepherds.

Cllr Noeleen Reilly (Ind), who supported the Cosgrove family after their dogs were seized, is now advocating for the restricted breeds legislation to be changed.

Speaking to Dublin Gazette, Cllr Reilly said: “In the four Dublin county councils, you aren’t allowed restricted breeds on council property.

“It’s not something that’s ever been implemented on a large scale, but it’s something people are now worried about as there have been a few cases [of dogs being seized] in the last few weeks.

“I don’t think a lot of people actually know you’re not allowed these dogs on council properties, because the amount of people who have contacted me shows there’s a bit of a panic.

“I think the law needs to change. All evidence shows that it doesn’t matter what breed – any dog can bite.

“[Councils] should be going after people mistreating their dogs, not people that just have the dogs as family pets.

“I know the family well, and those three dogs were so well looked after. That family are now absolutely heartbroken.

“Nobody reported those dogs – one dog had a puppy that was microchipped and rehomed, and one of the neighbours of the new home [where the puppy was living] apparently reported the pup, which then led back to these dogs.

“I have put forward a motion now at council level to try to change the law, which will be coming up for discussion in the next couple of months.

“I think we’ll have a good discussion about it at council level when it arises and I hope the public get behind it and put pressure on local councillors to support it,” said Cllr Reilly.

When contacted by Dublin Gazette, the DSPCA said that it has put in a submission to a recent public consultation on a review into measures relating to the control of dogs in Ireland, opened by the Department of Rural and Community Development, which has a focus on restricted breeds.

A spokesperson said: “We say that we expect and would appreciate everyone who is a pet owner [of any breed] to be responsible.

“Responsible owners have animals that are well trained, vaccinated, neutered and microchipped, and the owners respect public spaces, other dogs and other people.”

When contacted by Dublin Gazette, a council spokesperson said: “It came to our attention that banned breed dogs, that are on the restricted list, were in DCC properties in the Ballymun area.

“Five dogs were removed from three properties by the Dog Warden, in line with Section 34 of the Tenancy agreements.

“We are reliant largely on complaints from other residents in order to initiate action.”