These dogs were among the 53 animals seized at an address in Prospect in May this year. - Photo: RCIPS

Sylvia Felicity Lewis, 55, denied five charges of animal cruelty in the Summary Court on Wednesday.

The charges allege that between 6 and 11 May this year, Lewis abandoned 53 dogs in cages at her Prospect home, and in doing so caused them to suffer. The charges also allege that Lewis denied the dogs veterinary care.

Three of the charges are blanket charges, meaning they cover all 53 dogs, while one charge relates specifically to a Shih Tzu-poodle mix and another refers to a Rottweiler.
Eleven of the dogs either died or were euthanised shortly after they were seized by the Department of Agriculture. Several of the dogs had to be put down after testing positive for the parvo virus.

Lewis was released on bail, and a Summary Court trial has been set for March 2020.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that the 42 surviving dogs have since been placed in permanent homes.

If you value our service, if you have turned to us in the past few days or weeks for verified, factual updates, if you have watched our live streaming of press conferences or sent an article to a friend... please consider a donation. Quality local journalism was at risk before the coronavirus crisis. It is now deeply threatened. Even a small amount can go a long way to sustaining our mission of informing the public. We need our readers’ financial support now more than ever.