Woman Avoids Jail After Dogs Left To Suffer

A Co Armagh woman is facing a suspended sentence and ban from keeping animals after failing to ensure the welfare of two dogs in her care.

Ms Sheena McCartney was convicted on three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a Rottweiler with an eye condition, failing to comply with an improvement notice requiring her to bring the dog to a vet for treatment, and wilfully neglecting the needs of both the Rottweiler and a Lurcher.

After her legal counsel entered a guilty plea on her behalf, the Co Armagh woman was given a custodial sentence suspended for 18 months and a five-year disqualification from keeping animals at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

The prosecution was brought by council after a concerned member of the public reported their worries over the dogs' welfare.

Ms McCartney initially did not respond to contact from the council, and when she did, an improvement notice was issued requiring her to seek treatment for the Rottweiler's eye condition.
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This was not complied with and due to Ms McCartney's lack of co-operation, a warrant to enter her property on Drumellan Walk was secured.

The Animal Welfare Officer subsequently visited with a vet who assessed the Rottweiler as suffering and the Lurcher as being likely to suffer given the conditions in which it was being kept.

Both dogs were immediately taken into care and later rehomed.

A spokesperson for Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council said: "The judge in this case saw fit to give a custodial sentence in addition to a disqualification from keeping animals because the defendant persistently neglected the needs of her dogs' and flagrantly disregarded animal welfare legislation. This case serves as a reminder that the Council will relentlessly pursue anyone who does not take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of their animals."

Ms McCartney was also ordered to pay costs of £84.

Members of the public with concerns about animal cruelty and neglect can report the matter to the council's Animal Welfare team, who will take formal action where warranted, by calling 028 3751 5800.


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