Dog found covered in faeces after being left in house for year
A severely emaciated dog was found at a house in Belfast nearly a year after its owner moved out, a court has heard.
The German Shepherd was covered in its own faeces and appeared dehydrated when police discovered it at Rushfield Avenue in the city.
The details emerged as its owner Sean Vize (29) was sentenced to 100 hours community service for animal cruelty.
Vize, of Lavinia Square, Belfast, pleaded guilty to the offence yesterday after being charged earlier this year.
Prosecutors said officers were called out to a house in Rushfield Avenue on February 14 following a report by a neighbour.
The officers were told the residents had moved out approximately a year before and that a dog had been left behind at the |address.
Belfast Magistrates Court heard the property had clearly been abandoned, with empty containers of dog food found in the kitchen.
The dog was discovered in a covered yard area with no lighting or ventilation.
A prosecution lawyer said it was severely emaciated and appeared dehydrated.
Both the animal and the entire floor of the yard, measuring approximately 7ft x 4ft, was covered in faeces, a judge was told.
There was no bedding or access to food and water, it was claimed. USPCA officers were called in and moved the dog to a veterinary practice as part of its recovery treatment.
According to the prosecution, police investigations revealed Vize and his family had lived at Rushfield Avenue and moved out in April 2009.
Following his arrest the defendant said he had returned to the address every lunchtime to leave food for the dog.
But it was also accepted that he did not arrange for the animal to have any exercise during that time.
After reports were prepared in the case District Judge Ken Nixon imposed the 100 hours community service.