Venue of brothers’ animal cruelty trial to be decided

A judge will rule next month on the trial venue of two English brothers charged over the discovery of dozens of puppies found lying in their own excrement in two cars in Dublin.

The animals, aged between three and eight weeks, had been discovered and taken to safety by gardaí and officers from the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).

It followed searches of two cars on Oct 9 last, on the Old Malahide Road in the Coolock area in north Dublin.

The puppies were located in boxes in the rear of both vehicles and included a number of cocker and springer spaniels, terrier, beagle, and Labrador breeds along with several Jack Russells. They were then placed into the care of the DSPCA.

Two men, who were arrested at the scene, made their second appearance at Dublin District Court yesterday to face animal cruelty charges.

Reuben Burton, aged 32, and his 21-year-old brother Rico Lee Burton, both from Stone Meadows, Carrington, Manchester, have been charged under the Protection of Animals Act.

It is alleged they cruelly ill-treated animals by keeping approximately 50 pups in the boot of a car “in cramped conditions with no food or water, no light or fresh air and had the pups lying in their own faeces causing unnecessary suffering”.

Defence counsel Emmet Nolan told Judge Patricia McNamara yesterday that the prosecution’s evidence had just been disclosed and given the nature and seriousness of the charges, more time was needed to consider the case.

He said the two men wanted it to be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Judge McNamara remanded the pair on continuing bail and ordered them to appear again next month when it is to be clarified whether or not the case is to be dealt with in the District Court or will instead be sent forward to the Circuit Court.

The brothers have not yet indicated how they will plead to the charges, which on conviction can result in fines and possible jail sentences.

Both were granted free legal aid earlier after the court heard that they are unemployed.

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