A woman has been ordered by Portlaoise District Court not to keep a pet for the rest of her life after an ISPCA inspector found one injured and distressed dog in her rubbish strewn garden beside the decomposing carcass of another dog.
Before the court was Natalija Sidorova (38), 24 Oakleaf Place, Knockmay, Portlaoise, charged with two offences under the Control of Dogs Act, having no dog licence and permitting a carcass to remain unburied; and two offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, allowing unnecessary suffering and failing to protect the health and welfare of an animal.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on December 20, 2017, an ISPCA inspector entered the accused’s residence and discovered two dogs. One dog was in pain with injuries while the other was deceased.
The dog that was still alive was in a distressed state. The carcass of the other dog, which had been scavenged by wild animals, had been left decomposing and the live dog was exposed to toxins.
Sgt Kirby said the back garden was covered in rubbish and wooden pallets with nails in them. The accused had no licence for the dogs.
Defence, Mr Declan Breen admitted it was a particularly nasty case.
He said the accused, a Latvian national in Ireland since 2005 or 2006, had medical difficulties and delegated the responsibility for looking after the dogs to her son, who was 16 at the time.
One dog went missing the month before and her son went looking for it, and the dog eventually came back and died. The accused was not aware that the animal had returned as there was a shed in the garden and the animal was behind it.
Regarding the injuries to the other dog, Mr Breen said that things were difficult financially for the family, so a friend had given them pallets to be cut up for firewood, however there were nails on them and the dog injured himself that way.
Mr Breen said the accused was accepting responsibility. She looked on her son as the man of the house and the responsibility fell on his shoulders, but this was not an excuse.
Judge Catherine Staines imposed a three-month prison sentence, suspended for one year on the accused’s own bond of €100.
The judge also made an order that the accused is not to be the owner of an animal for the rest of her life.