A transsexual charged with reckless ill-treatment of an animal says she will appeal if found guilty.
Annabell Quor, 75, is accused of leaving her dog to die of heat exhaustion at The Palms Shopping Centre roof-top car park just before Christmas. The SPCA has brought the charge.
Ms Quor, a former shearer and rodeo cowboy, is to attend a preliminary hearing in the District Court on Friday where a date for a jury trial is to be set.
Previous scheduled court dates had been deferred due to the February 22 earthquake which disrupted court proceedings.
Ms Quor said she would plead not guilty as she disagreed that the death of her 10-year-old pomeranian Midgy was due to her being "reckless".
"I'm not guilty of what they say," she said.
Ms Quor said she had elected to be tried before a jury as she felt it would be a "more fair trial".
Canterbury SPCA manager Geoff Sutton said a jury trial was more costly and it was "unfortunate" animal welfare money was having to be used in this way.
"But we have no choice and we will continue with the charges," he said.
Ms Quor said the incident was a tragic "accident."
Midgy was left in the car harnessed to a seatbelt and muzzled.
Ms Quor said she had forgotten to take Midgy's muzzle off when she went to the bank with a friend and was away from the car for about 75 minutes. Temperatures in the car reached 33.4 deg C.
Ms Quor said she has short-term memory loss caused by two strokes.
She had put the muzzle on earlier when she had taken Midgy out on her scooter, as he had a tendency to nip.
The SPCA told Ms Quor the muzzle had prevented Midgy from putting his tongue out to keep cool.
She said at the time of the incident, the doors were unlocked, the windows were down about 4cm and a dish of water was in the back seat.
Ms Quor felt the SPCA was making an unnecessary example of her because of her sexuality.
She felt she had already served her sentence and should not be facing the courts.
"It's not justice they're dishing out. Losing my Midgy, that was the big sentence," she said.
If found guilty of the charge, under section 28(a) of the Animal Welfare Act, the maximum sentence she could face is three years in prison, a fine not exceeding $75,000, or both.
Ms Quor said she hoped to move to Australia after the court case was over.
"I had him [Midgy] cremated so I could keep my promise and take him to Australia with me."