Castlewellan Resident Disqualified from Owning Animals for Two Years
Michelle Rice, a resident of St Pauls Close, Castlewellan, appeared at Downpatrick Magistrates Court on Monday, 5 November 2018, charged with causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs in her care.
A case was brought against Ms Rice by Newry Mourne and Down District Council following a complaint received in August 2016 concerning two dogs which both appeared to have difficulty walking.
Ms Rice was charged with the offence of causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs and for failure to take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of the dogs was being met.
An Improvement Notice was issued by the Animal Welfare Officer but was not complied with, therefore a veterinary surgeon certified the dogs were likely to suffer if they remained at the property. The animals were taken into the possession of Newry Mourne and Down District Council by the Animal Welfare Officer.
In Court Ms Rice pleaded guilty to both charges which were brought by Newry Mourne and Down District Council under the provisions of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. She received a disqualification order preventing her from owning animals for a period of two years, a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £134.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said, “This ruling will hopefully serve as a reminder that anyone who owns a 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.
“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.”
To report a suspected case of animal cruelty, contact Animal Welfare on 028 3751 5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on animal welfare, go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/animal-welfare