herald

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Woman's pet dog 'was emaciated and starving', court told

Russell ‘surrendered the dog’
Russell ‘surrendered the dog’

A Dublin woman who is alleged to have let her Doberman dog starve, leaving it emaciated, is to have her case heard next month.

Megan Russell (22) was summonsed before Balbriggan District Court after the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) received an anonymous call about the poor condition of her dog.

She is charged with five counts of failing to take all necessary steps to ensure that the animal was kept and treated in a manner that safeguarded its health and welfare on March 16 under the Animal Health & Welfare Act.

A solicitor for the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine outlined the alleged facts of the case for Judge Dermot Dempsey to consider whether it should be heard at District Court level, where the penalties, if convicted, are less than in the Circuit Court.

The solicitor said, after the DSPCA received the tip-off, they visited Russell's home at Bath Road in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, where they observed the Doberman in the rear garden. The dog "appeared in poor physical condition and was emaciated", the solicitor told the court.

A member of the DSPCA immediately seized the dog for urgent medical treatment and allegedly spoke to Ms Russell by telephone. She allegedly surrendered the dog to the DSPCA.

Starvation

"The dog was treated by a vet for starvation and related conditions," the solicitor said.

On hearing the alleged facts, Judge Dempsey accepted jurisdiction. Full disclosure was made to Ms Russell's defence barrister Patrick Jackson and the case was adjourned for hearing next month.

Ms Russell has not yet indicated how she will plead and two witnesses are expected to give evidence.

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