'Malnourished' dog allegedly found chained to bath tub, court hears

A DUBLIN woman has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges after a “malnourished” dog was allegedly found chained to a bathtub in her home.

Nikita Somerville with an address at Peadar Kearney House, Railway Street, Dublin 1 will go on trial later this year.

She appeared before Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court today facing five counts under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 in connection with her pet Pomeranian dog.

In an outline of the prosecution evidence, Judge Halpin heard it was alleged, “A pet dog was discovered in her home chained to a bathtub by a Garda attending the premises”.

The Pomeranian was examined and found to be malnourished, the court heard.

Ms Somerville told the court she was pleading not guilty.

Judge Halpin advised her to speak to a solicitor as the charge can attract a sentence of up to six months.

He noted she was pleading not guilty and ordered that her trial would take place on a date in March.

She was granted legal aid for a solicitor to represent her.

She faces five charges for not keeping a brown Pomeranian in a manner to safeguard its welfare, for causing suffering to the pet, being reckless regarding its welfare, and not providing sufficient water or food.

It was her second appearance on these charges.

The case first came before the court when she was summonsed to appear on January 14 last. It was adjourned until today for the court to see what attitude she had toward the charges.

The dog was put into the care of the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the court had heard.

A conviction on the charges can result in fines of up to €3,000 per charge as well as a sentence of up to six months. The court also has the power to ban a defendant convicted under the legislation from owning an animal.

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