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Two Northern Ireland residents fined for causing unnecessary suffering to pets

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Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has welcomed court fines handed down to two women who pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to dogs in their care.

The charges in both cases were brought by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

Sarah Jane Gilmore, age 25, formerly of Douglas Terrace, Ballymena, pleaded guilty at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Wednesday 28 February to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog that was in her care.

The charge related to a severely emaciated Boxer-type dog, that when examined by a veterinary surgeon was found to be dehydrated, anaemic and lethargic requiring hospitalisation and the administration of intravenous fluids. The vet concluded the dog had been suffering.

Ms Gilmore was fined £100 and ordered to pay legal costs of £200, court costs of £34, an offender levy of £15 and veterinary costs of £150.

In a separate case, Lanna McCann, age 48, of Bay Road, Larne, pleaded guilty at Ballymena Magistrates Court, also on Wednesday 28 February 2018, to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog that was in her care.

The charge related to a black crossbreed dog that was suffering great discomfort from a chronic ear condition and was underweight.

Ms McCann was fined £150 and ordered to pay legal costs of £200, court costs of £20, an offender levy of £15 and kennelling fees of £175.

Council applications to disqualify both women from keeping animals were rejected by the court.

Commenting on the cases, a spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council gives a 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 these cases and we hope they serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals.”

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