A woman has been convicted in court of animal cruelty after a case was brought by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Borough Council.
Belinda Potts, of Hawthorne Walk in Dromore, was sentenced in her absence after failing to attend Newry Magistrates Court on Monday 20 November 2023. Ms Potts was convicted of animal welfare offences under Section 4, 9 and 14 of the Welfare of Animals (Northern Ireland) Act for causing unnecessary suffering, failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare needs of the animal was being met and abandonment of an animal.
The charges were brought by ABC Council after a report was received concerning the welfare of a dog kept at Ms Pott’s former address in.
The Council’s Animal Welfare Officers attended the property and found a young Jack Russell dog in very poor body condition, with ribs, spine and pelvic bones clearly visible. It was evident the dog had been left unattended for some time as the pen was heavily fouled.
A vet examined the dog and concluded it was suffering unnecessarily resulting in the dog being taken into the Council’s possession.
Ms Potts was fined £250 for charge under Section 4 (causing unnecessary suffering) and £200 for each charge under Section 9 and 14.
She was also ordered to pay legal and court costs totalling £168 in addition to £403.13 contribution towards Council’s boarding and veterinary care costs.
Commenting on the case, a spokesperson for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 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.
“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.”