Belfast Telegraph

Co Antrim man banned by judge from keeping dogs

By Staff Reporter

A Co Antrim man has been banned from keeping dogs for three years after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a "very underweight" Staffordshire bull terrier.

Darryl Smyth (31), of Hawthorn Avenue, Carrickfergus, was sentenced at Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday.

He previously pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog that was in his care and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animal were met.

The dog was very underweight, with ribs, spine and pelvic bones protruding.

The animal also had inadequate shelter, having been left out in torrential rain the night before the Animal Welfare Officer called out to the property.

The charges were brought against Smyth by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

At an earlier hearing, Smyth was sentenced to 160 hours community service.

Yesterday, the magistrate also disqualified Smyth from keeping dogs for three years. He was ordered to pay veterinary fees of £206.24 and legal costs of £66.

A Mid and East Antrim Borough Council spokesperson said: "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."

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