A midwife has avoided an animal welfare conviction over the condition of her sick dog, described as "eaten alive by maggots", after paying €3,000 in prosecution costs and a charity donation.
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.
Following an eight-week adjournment, Judge Halpin noted Rogers had complied with his order regarding the payment of costs and a charity donation. He applied the Probation of Offenders Act, sparing her a conviction.
Judge Halpin heard the ill dog was surrendered to the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).
The court heard that after the dog was taken, it vomited fresh blood. He also had a large spleen tumour, bacterial infection, and endocarditis and had to be euthanised, DSPCA vet Elise O’Bryne White said.
The court also heard 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. He added that she planned to move abroad and a conviction could affect her career.
Judge Halpin remarked that Rogers 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 the case would have been a nine on a one-to-ten scale of seriousness due to the pain suffered by "the poor animal".
He noted, however, that Rogers 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 towards the prosecution's costs and 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.