A midwife has been spared jail and given a chance to avoid an animal welfare conviction over the condition of her sick dog, described as "eaten alive by maggots".
Chloe Rogers (25) of South Circular Road, Rialto, Dublin, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare Act for neglecting her 14-year-old Japanese spitz dog and causing unnecessary suffering on September 2nd, 2021.
She has been ordered to pay €3,000 in costs and a charity donation.
Judge Anthony Halpin heard that the ill dog was surrendered to the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).
After the dog was taken, it vomited fresh blood. He had a large spleen tumour, bacterial infection, and endocarditis and had to be euthanised, said DSPCA vet Elise O’Bryne White.
The court heard that the problem with maggots, which grew a millimetre a day, had begun 16 days before.
After hearing the vet’s evidence of maggots feeding on the dog’s open wounds, Judge Halpin told prosecution counsel Matthew Holmes he did not wish to see the photographic evidence.
"I wouldn't be able to look at those photos; that's disgusting," he said.
The offence can result in a maximum €5,000 fine, a pet ownership ban and a six-month sentence.
Asking for leniency, defence solicitor Fergal Boyle said his client had never been in trouble before; she planned to move abroad, and a conviction could affect her career.
Judge Halpin remarked she worked in a caring industry "and had a dog being eaten alive by maggots."
Mr Boyle said she panicked and had attempted to contact a vet before the dog was surrendered.
Judge Halpin also noted the condition of the pet's matting, adding, "that does not happen overnight". He estimated that this case would have been a nine on a one-to-10 scale of seriousness due to the pain suffered by "the poor animal".
He noted, however, that she had no prior criminal convictions and warned her she was getting "one last chance". He said he had to consider that it was out of character and that she did not deliberately allow her dog to suffer like that.
He said he would apply the Probation of Offenders Act if she paid €1,500 toward the prosecution costs. He also ordered her to donate the same amount to the Little Flower Penny Dinner charity to help underprivileged people in Dublin city centre's Liberties area.
He granted her legal and adjourned the case until September.