Maltese dog show enthusiast who owned 41 dogs banned from keeping animals for 25 years

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A court banned a man from owning dogs for 25 years after he was found guilty of failing to care for those in his care.

In a court ruling yesterday, Antonio Vella was sentenced to a fine of € 20,000 as well as a suspended sentence for failing to take care of several dogs for which he was responsible.

Throughout the proceedings, the court heard that the man was an avid dog show enthusiast who kept several purebred dogs. However, an inspection by the Animal Welfare Directorate found that many dogs he was caring for were not being treated properly.

Many of the dogs were dirty and some also appeared to be malnourished.

Five to six of the dogs were found in cages in the man’s kitchen by the director of animal welfare, the court said.

Most of the dogs – which included Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pharaoh Hounds, Rough Collies, Chow Chows, and Shih Tzus – were chipped, but 14 were not.

In rendering the judgment, the magistrate noted that the accused clearly knew what was required of him as a dog owner, given that he bred purebred dogs intended for dog shows.

The accused, she said, had abdicated his responsibility to care for the animals for an extended period, adding that if the authorities had not intervened, he would have done nothing to remedy the situation.

Although the offense was not considered to warrant jail time, Vella was fined and banned from owning dogs for 25 years.

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