A pair who kept a dog in a small yard in an accumulation of faeces have been banned from keeping animals for six months.
Adrian Bentley and Jacqueline Clarke of Avenue Road, Lurgan, pleaded guilty to offences under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 relating to a female collie type dog in their care at a sitting of Craigavon Magistrates Court on September 6.
The Council received a complaint which alleged that the dog was kept in a small and dirty yard with accumulations of dog faeces.
The Animal Welfare Officer who visited the location on 15th September, 2015, noted a female collie type dog who appeared underweight and whose coat was heavily matted with faeces.
An improvement notice was served on Bentley which required the dog to be groomed and wormed by September 22, 2015. However, despite several attempts to contact Bentley and Clarke to access the property and assess compliance with the improvement notice, Bentley and Clarke did not agree to or facilitate a visit by the Animal Welfare Officer. A warrant was then obtained by the Animal Welfare Officer which permitted the officer’s entry to the premises.
On entry into the back yard of the premises the Animal Welfare Officer noted that the yard was heavily littered with dog faeces and the female collie type dog was present and her coat was still heavily matted with faeces. The dog was taken into the possession of Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon District Council and given appropriate veterinary treatment.
Charges were brought by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council under the provisions of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 against Bentley and Clarke. The charges referred to the failure to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the dog were being met and obstruction of an Animal Welfare Officer. Additionally Bentley was charged with the offence of failure to comply with an improvement notice.
Bentley and Clarke were both disqualified from keeping animals for six months. Bentley was fined a total of £600 and Clarke and was fined a total of £500.
Both Defendants were ordered to pay £125 professional fee, £16 court costs. £15 Offenders Levy and £65 each to cover the kennelling and vet charges. They were given 20 weeks to pay.
A Council spokesperson commented: “Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council continues to give a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.
“I would urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspected cases of mistreatment or cruelty to our Animal Welfare team on 028 3751 5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the issuing of Improvement Notices or, in certain cases, the seizure of animals. More information on animal welfare can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/animal-welfare.”