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Brothers on animal cruelty charges following puppy seizure

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TWO English brothers have been charged with animal cruelty for keeping about 50 puppies lying in their own excrement without food, water or fresh air in the back of two cars.

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

It followed searches of two cars on October 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 Russell’s. They were then placed into the care of the DSPCA.

Two men, who been arrested at the scene, appeared at Dublin District Court today on animal cruelty charges.

Reuben Burton (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 back of cars “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”.

The brothers, who travelled over from England to attend the brief hearing today did not address the court.

Judge Patricia McNamara heard that directions from the DPP have yet to be obtained.

The men's solicitor Tony Collier asked that they would be excused from attending the case when it resumes in the New Year, however, Judge McNamara said they should be present.

The pair were remanded on bail to appear again on a date in January. 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 after the court heard that they are unemployed.