Belfast Telegraph

Ban for woman who kept her dogs in a state of filth

By Lindsay Fergus

With her protruding rib cage and emaciated hind quarters it is little wonder that poor Roxy is the picture of unhappiness.

The timid white Staffordshire bull terrier, along with two other dogs, was found in appalling conditions at a house in Bangor.

The floors were littered with dog faeces and pools of urine while there was no water or food for the starving animals.

But life is a little brighter for Roxy, Star and Kess today after a court banned their owner from keeping animals for seven years.

The three bitches are now being cared for in a professional kennel.

Frances McFarland, from Fairfield Road, was also given a three-month prison sentence suspended for two years after she was found guilty of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

The 40-year-old was further ordered to pay £3,664 in costs.

Bangor Magistrates Court yesterday heard that she would be appealing the decision.

Star, a tan and white Staffordshire bull terrier; Kess, a black/brindle Staffordshire bull terrier, and Roxy were discovered in October last year.

Following sentencing a PSNI spokesman said: “The PSNI in North Down welcomes the outcome of this case.

“Officers continue to work in a very successful partnership with North Down Borough Council in cases of dog neglect and the story of Roxy, Star and Kess is particularly sad.

“They were undernourished, kept in filthy conditions and were obviously suffering because they were not being properly looked after,” he added.

“What is even more upsetting is that when they were found, they were timid and craved affection.

“Owning a dog is very rewarding, but it is not to be taken lightly. It takes time and money and patience. The PSNI’s message to everyone in the community is that if you don’t have the time to properly look after any animal, then don’t get one.”

The USPCA has also welcomed the prosecution.

Stephen Philpott, chief executive of the charity, said: “We are pleased that the judiciary take the topic of animal cruelty seriously. Bans are useful weapons to stop people from reoffending and we would encourage their use more widely.”

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