Dogs found in ‘unbearable’ conditions alongside rotting carcasses

The case was broughty by Mid and East Antrim Council
The case was broughty by Mid and East Antrim Council

A Co Antrim man convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs has been banned from keeping animals for 15 years.

Andrew McAuley was also handed an eight-month suspended jail sentence for his failure to ensure their welfare.

Charges were brought against him by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

The authority claimed the dogs were found in “unbearable” conditions alongside rotting animal carcasses.

McAuley, said to be aged 58 and from Braepark Road in Ballyclare, was dealt with at Belfast Magistrates Court.

He was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to make adequate provisions for two hounds, a beagle and a crossbreed.

The alleged offences were committed in January 2017.

According to the council two of the dogs were found inside a car that was covered in snow in sub-zero conditions, steeped in urine, soiled with dog faeces and contained bird carcasses.

The authority’s animal welfare officer described the smell as “unbearable”.

A beagle tied up in a confined outhouse alongside dead bird and pig carcasses was also removed, while another dog was found roaming on site, the council said.

None of them had proper access to fresh water or food, it was claimed.

The Court Service confirmed McAuley received an eight month prison sentence, suspended for three years, at a hearing on Tuesday.

He was also prohibited from keeping animals for 15 years, and ordered to pay £217 in costs.

With the dogs now re-homed, a spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Animal Welfare Team said: “We are pleased with the outcome of this case.

“Council gives a high priority to the enforcement of the welfare of domestic pets and horses.

“We operate a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.”

Stressing that all complaints are investigated thoroughly, the spokesperson added: “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.”