Carrick man banned from keeping dogs

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A pet owner has been banned from keeping dogs after he caused unnecessary suffering to his Staffordshire bull terrier

Darryl Smyth, 31, of Hawthorn Avenue was sentenced at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on June 20 after previously entering a plea of guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog that was in his care and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animal were met.

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

The charges relate to a Staffordshire bull terrier that was very underweight, with ribs, spine and pelvic bones protruding.

There was also inadequate shelter provided for this dog, having been left out in torrential rain, the night before the animal welfare officer called out to the property.

At an earlier hearing, Mr. Smyth was sentenced to 160 hours’ community service.

On Tuesday, Mr. Smyth was disqualified from keeping dogs for three years. He was also ordered to pay the veterinary fees of £206.24 and legal costs of £66.

Commenting on the case, a Mid and East Antrim Borough Council spokesperson 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 this case which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals.”