Mr Darren McPeake, of the Lanntara area of Ballymena, was sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 25th May 2022, after having previously been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to one of his dogs and failing to ensure the welfare of both of his two Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs. The charges were brought against Mr McPeake by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
Proceedings followed an investigation by Council’s Animal Welfare Officer after receiving a report of concern for two dogs at his property. On arrival Animal Welfare Officers found two dogs living in poor conditions, with one dog in particular, named Cuddles, found to be in an emaciated state.
Both dogs were taken into Council’s possession on the advice of a vet, and have since been rehomed.
District Judge Broderick imposed a custodial sentence of 6 months for causing unnecessary suffering for one dog, “Cuddles”, and two further custodial sentences of 3 months each for failing to ensure the welfare of an animal for the two dogs. All suspended for three years.
In addition, McPeake was also disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years and order to pay costs of £137 for legal costs.
Commenting on the case a spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: "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. All complaints are investigated thoroughly and in the most serious of animal welfare offence, such as in this case, Council will prosecute for offences. I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals."