A court has banned a man from owning dogs for 25 years after he was found guilty of not caring for those in his care.
In a decision handed down by the courts yesterday, Antonio Vella was handed a €20,000 fine as well as a suspended sentence for not caring for the several dogs he was responsible for.
Throughout proceedings the court heard how the man was a dog show enthusiast who kept several pedigree dogs. However, an inspection by the Animal Welfare directorate found that many of the dogs in his care were not being treated properly.
A large number of the dogs were dirty with some also appearing to be malnourished.
Five to six of the dogs were found in cages in the man’s kitchen by the Animal Welfare director, the court was told.
Most of the dogs – which included Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pharaoh Hounds, Rough Collies, Chow Chows and Shih Tzus – were chipped, though 14 weren’t.
In handing down judgment, the magistrate noted that the accused clearly knew what was required of him as a dog owner, given that he was breeding pedigree dogs intended for dog shows.
The accused, she said, had abdicated his responsibility of care for the animals over a prolonged period of time, adding that had the authorities not intervened, he would have done nothing about the situation.
While the offence was not deemed to justify a prison sentence, Vella was fined and banned from owning dogs for 25 years.
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