Belfast Telegraph

Jail and ban for thug who dragged pup down street

By Eamonn MacDermott

A 40-year-old man has been jailed for two counts of animal cruelty.

Patrick Collins, from Lower Nassau Street in Derry, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a puppy and failing to properly care for the animal.

The city's Magistrates' Court was told police were called to a shop on Park Avenue on August 1 after the defendant was seen dragging a pup by a lead.

The animal was said to have been lying on its side, being pulled along like a "dead weight".

Police called at the defendant's house. He answered, but then quickly went inside.

Officers followed and saw Collins lifting the puppy by its ears and then holding it in his arms.

The animal was unresponsive and was taken to a vet, who found its heart rate was slow and it had a very low temperature. It also had cuts on all four of its paw pads.

It was initially thought the puppy would die, but after treatment and care it lived.

Collins was interviewed the next day and said the dog sustained the cuts while out on its first walk.

He told police he did not believe he had done anything wrong and then verbally abused the officers, accusing them of attacking the dog.

However, in court, defence solicitor Kevin Casey said his client accepted he was guilty.

Mr Casey explained that at the time of the incident, Collins was "not able to look after himself, never mind an animal".

The solicitor admitted his client's behaviour was unacceptable, not only in terms of the puppy, but also in terms of his son, for whom it was bought.

Mr Casey also asked the court to take into account the fact that the puppy had survived.

But District Judge Barney McElholm said the animal survived because of the vet's work.

He added that when Collins was challenged by a shop assistant, he launched "a volley of abuse", later verbally attacking police and claiming they had beaten the animal.

Collins was imprisoned for three months, banned for life from owning a pet and ordered to pay costs of £909.

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