'SICKENING'

AN Antrim man has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after a dog was found dead in his back yard.

William Lane, of Angus Street, appeared in court last week charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier type dog.

The case was brought against Lane by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

His Honour Judge Sherrard deferred the sentencing of the case for 10 months. The case will be reviewed in March 2019.

This deferral comes only a month after the local Magistrate was forced to sign an application authorising the euthanisation of three dogs seized from Lane which were deemed to be too ‘aggressive’ to rehome.

At the time, the court was advised that four dogs had been seized and while initially, it had been hoped that they could all be re-homed, three were unsuitable due to their 'heightened aggressive nature'.

Reading a post mortem report in court last week, Judge Sherrard described the injuries to ‘Tania’.

These included puncture wounds to the head, chest, left elbow and shoulder, multiple ribs fractured, a large opening of 105mm to the chest wall, torn muscles, and puncture wounds to the heart consistent with tooth penetration.

These injuries were caused by another dog kept at the property attacking Tania.

All dogs kept at the property were removed by Council at the time of the incident.

Alliance Councillor and avid dog lover, Neil Kelly was horrified by the case.

“It’s sickening,” he fumed. “Absolutely sickening.”

“The images I’ve seen and the fact there was a previous euthanisation order just serves to confirm in my mind that this is someone who should be banned from keeping animals for life.

“Anybody convicted in any such case should face the same.

“I commend the Council in bringing this case to court and I note that we have been successful in securing custodial sentences before in cruelty cases.

“The staff really do care about what they’re doing and I think we are sending out a strong message that if you are cruel to animals in our Borough, you will be caught and you will be prosecuted.

“I would urge any member of the public to report any suspicions about animal cruelty. We all have to pay our part.”

A spokesperson for the Council said they would ‘continue to give a high priority’ to the welfare of domestic pets and horses and operate a ‘rigorous enforcement policy’ to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.

“All complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken,” they said.

“In extreme and harrowing cases, as with this investigation and in other circumstances Council will prosecute for offences.

“Council hopes that this will serve as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals”

The Council encouraged members of the public to report similar incidents to the Councils Enforcement Officers on 028 9034 0160.

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