The Animal Welfare Department this afternoon issued a warning to the owner of a dog kept muzzled in a yard of an apartment in Swieqi after they found that it could not eat or drink.

Inspectors went on site to investigate after they received reports of the case. A photo of the dog was uploaded on Facebook.

The owner muzzled her eight-month-old female mixed breed so that she would not bark while she went shopping.

It is not illegal to muzzle a dog as long as this is for a short period of time and if the dog is a threat to safety.

The owner is being fined since the dog was not microchipped.

However, the dog was not malnourished or ill-treated and this was not considered to be a major case, the officers said.

Claims on Facebook that the dog's mouth was taped were denied by inspectors.

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