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Animal cruelty: 'There's no excuse, it makes me angry'

Published 16/05/2016

Stella Jarvis (8) was there with dog Poppy and mum Helen Jarvis (46) from Lisburn
Stella Jarvis (8) was there with dog Poppy and mum Helen Jarvis (46) from Lisburn

Stella Jarvis (8) was there with dog Poppy and mum Helen Jarvis (46) from Lisburn. She said: "I feel very strongly about animal cruelty and the lack of jail time these people get.

"Perpetrators walk away with a slap on the wrist, we want to see these people pay for what they have done.

"In my opinion animals feel pain and terror just like a person who is being abused. It makes me feel so angry, there is no excuse."

‘I am here to be a voice for them’

Ciaran Gorman (46) from Belfast attended with Gordon setters Willow and Flynn. "I am here to protest again at the sentences for animal cruelty, as they are too lenient," he said.

"I would like to see legislation change and proper sentences handed out to those who treat their animals with absolute disrespect with no regard for their life. I am here to be a voice for the doggies because these animals cannot speak for themselves."

‘Stop giving thugs rap on the knuckle’

Sinead Rafferty (39) came with dogs Teddy and Pablo. She said: "I am here to fight for all animals, it's about time judges gave tougher sentences and stopped giving people a rap over the knuckle for abusing animals.

"I thoroughly believe people who hurt animals will go on to hurt people. I can understand that prison may be full, so if they can't give them a custodial sentence then they should be out in the community cleaning up dog muck."

‘Serial killers start by hurting animals’

Paddy Murphy (64) from Ravenhill in Belfast brought his Jack Russell cross Gibbs. He said: "He was stray for three months. He's a lovely little dog with a feisty personality and people just let him go. He's a survivor and he's enriched our life.

"Cruelty to animals is not a small thing, cruelty is cruelty. There is evidence that a lot of serial killers started off harming animals before going on to kill people."

‘It’s the same as abusing a child’

Cherie Part (35) from Waringstown is a dog trainer and behaviourist. She owns five dogs including Rupert.

She said: "I hope that there will be changes as there is no deterrent at all. Abusing an animal is the same as abusing a child in my opinion because they are both dependent on you and defenceless. How anyone can abuse an animal and get away with it is beyond me."

‘Sentences are far too lenient’

Alliance Party councillor Michael Long came to the protest with rescue dog Daisy.

He said: "We are here to see tougher sentences imposed because the legislation is already there but it is a case of getting the judiciary to use those powers.

"It's a really important and serious issue, but sentences are far too lenient."

‘Slap on the wrist not good enough’

Patricia Creeney (59) from Millisle has 12 rescue dogs. She came with King Charles spaniel Rusty. She said: "I hope the law will change and people will get more than a slap on the wrist.

"Unless people are imprisoned I don't think they will stop, they are giving lenient sentences and they leave court laughing. It's really disgusting, I don't understand the mentality of these people."

‘They need to be put behind bars’

Jo Luke (49), a retired police officer from Donegal, brought Nina the Dachshund. "I couldn't not come to this event. There needs to be heavier sentences behind bars.

"To think that abusers come out jeering and laughing at the judicial process proves that community sentences do not work, they should go to prison. I have successfully prosecuted people for animal abuse and I am extremely proud of that."

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