Co Antrim Pair Sentenced For Starving Dogs

A man and woman from Co Antrim are banned from keeping animals after they pled guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs.

Danielle Agnew (26) and Ryan O'Neill (29) formerly of Larne Road in Carrickfergus appeared before Laganside Magistrates Court on Thursday 29 August.

The pair were charged after an animal welfare officer discovered the dogs had been starved. The animals, which included an American Bulldog type dog, two Husky type dogs and a Chihuahua type dog, one of which was just a three-month-old puppy, would have died had they not been found at the property.

The charges against Ms Agnew and Mr O'Neill were brought by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

District Judge Broderick sentenced the pair to four months, suspended for two years. They are both also disqualified from keeping or caring for any animals for three years and were ordered to pay costs totalling £1657.
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One of council's animal welfare officers had attended the property after reports of an abandoned dog. A veterinary surgeon later examined the pets to confirm they had been starved.

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council's Animal Welfare team said: "Council gives high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.

"Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of Improvement Notices, or in extreme cases, seizure of animals. The council may also prosecute for offences, such as in this case, which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals."

The council's website has further information on the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 and details on how to report any suspicions of mistreatment.


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