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Animal Welfare

Woman fined after dog found with its mouth taped shut

She had claimed she did not have a proper muzzle for the dog.

A LIMERICK WOMAN has been fined after an ISPCA inspector discovered her dog with packing tape around his mouth.

The case, heard before Newcastle West District Court last Tuesday, saw Elena Satalkina of Towerfield, Croom, County Limerick convicted of offences under sections 11 and 12 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

The case related to a visit made by ISPCA Inspector David Walsh to the defendant’s property on 16 February 2016.

Walsh gave evidence to the court of how he viewed a Bassett Hound type dog in the back garden of the dwelling house. He described seeing the dog with its mouth taped tightly with packaging tape. He said the dog was whimpering and was scratching at the tape with its paws in an attempt to dislodge the binding. He noted that the dog was in a stressed state.

He gave evidence that he subsequently interviewed Satalkina under caution where she admitted that she had taped the dog’s mouth because she had no proper muzzle to put on the dog. He told the court that the defendant informed him that the basset hound was attacking another dog and, in the absence of a muzzle, she had to tape its mouth.

Satalkina admitted that she taped the dog’s mouth but claimed that this was a temporary measure to allow her to go to the town in Croom and buy a muzzle.

She disagreed with prosecuting counsel that she could have removed the basset hound from the back garden to some place in the house to give her time to buy a proper muzzle, rather than taping the dog’s mouth and causing the animal considerable distress and discomfort.

Although the case was contested, having heard all of the evidence, Judge Mary Larkin was satisfied to convict and imposed a fine of €250 in respect of each summons. She also ordered that Ms Satalkina pay costs of €250 to the ISPCA.

Members of the public can report animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515.

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