A man has been jailed and his partner put on probation after they pleaded guilty to abandoning their dog which was found in an "extreme state of malnourishment".
John Joseph McGregor and Amy Wade of Kesh Road, Maze, Lisburn, appeared before Lisburn Magistrates Court in connection with charges brought against them by Lisburn City Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
The charges related to the plight of a German shepherd dog which was reported to the Animal Welfare Service as abandoned at a vacant property which the pair had previously lived in.
The couple pleaded guilty to the charges against them – abandoning the dog, causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of the dog were met to the extent required by good practice.
Lisburn City Council was alerted to the situation by a member of the public who noticed the dog chained up for a considerable time next to a kennel on the property.
The council said the dog was certified by a vet to be in a very poor condition, described as being emaciated with prominent ribs, hips and spine and in an extreme state of malnourishment. There was no fat covering beneath the skin – she weighed just 19kg and should have weighed between 35-40kg. The reason for the dog's poor physical condition was caused by starvation.
The owners moved out four to five weeks previously and it is believed that the dog had been left chained up from that time with only rainwater to drink and scraps thrown to it by passers-by. Wade was sentenced at Lisburn Magistrates Court on July 31 where she received a 12-month Probation Order.
She was disqualified from keeping animals for two years and deprived of owning two terrier-type dogs currently in her possession. She was also ordered to pay costs of £740.17.
McGregor was handed down a custodial sentence of one month.
He was disqualified from keeping animals for five years and also ordered to pay £740.17.
The young dog has since been successfully rehomed and is back to full health. She is living happily with her new owners and has been renamed Missy.