A Kilkeel woman has been disqualified from keeping animals for a period of five years after being found guilty of animal welfare offences.
Ms Sabrina McClelland, a resident of Irvington Park in Kilkeel appeared at Newry Magistrates Court on Monday, 19 October charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a female Rottweiler dog and a male Shih Tzu in her care and for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare needs of the animals were being met writes Laura Barr.
The defendant entered guilty pleas to the Section 4 and Section 9 offences of the Welfare of Animals (NI) Act 2011.
A case was brought against Ms McClelland by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council following a complaint received in May 2019 concerning dogs which were being kept in unsuitable conditions.
On 21 May 2019, an Animal Welfare Officer visited the above address following a report that two dogs had been abandoned at the property.
On investigation they found a badly matted Shih Tzu-type dog and a Rottweiler which was unable to weight bare on its front right leg.
An officer later returned two days later to find the dogs still present, and the Rottweiler was very dull.
No one had entered the property for at least 48 hours to care for the dogs.
A Search Warrant was obtained and on 23 May the two dogs were removed from the address. Both dogs were examined by a Veterinary Surgeon who certified that both dogs were suffering.
After further clinical investigations the vet determined that the Rottweiler should be put to sleep to prevent any further suffering.
NMDDC brought the two charges under the provisions of the Welfare of Animal Act NI 2011. Ms McClelland received a disqualification order preventing her from keeping animals for a period of five years and was ordered to pay fines of £250 for each offence and costs of £130.
A Council spokesperson commented: “This ruling will hopefully serve as a reminder that anyone who owns a domestic pet, must take proper steps to care for them, as required under the Welfare of Animals Act NI 2011.
“The Council will take action against anyone found failing to ensure the welfare of an animal, and if necessary, they will be brought before the courts and dealt with appropriately.
“Furthermore, we are pleased to report the Shih Tzu has recovered to full health and has been successfully rehomed.
“Cases of cruelty and neglect can be reported to our Animal Welfare team who will use enforcement powers to fully investigate all cases and take formal action, which may include the issuing of Improvement Notices, and in the most serious of cases, removing animals and prosecuting offenders.”