Belfast Telegraph

Woman handed 10-year ban after dog left to starve

BY EAMONN MacDERMOTT

A woman charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a family dog has been disqualified from keeping any animal for 10 years and given a suspended prison sentence in what a judge described as “as bad a case as I have come across”.

Siobhan Best (34), of Greystone Park in Limavady, admitted the offences that occurred on November 23, 2012.

The court was told that animal welfare officers received a complaint about a dog being left dead.

Officers went to investigate and found the dog lying dead in a kennel in the yard with the door shut. Its ribs could be seen and it was very thin. A nearby wheelie bin was knocked over and there were plastic bottles beside the dog’s body.

A post mortem revealed the animal had starved to death and found tinfoil in the dog's stomach suggesting he had been eating the contents of the bin.

District Judge Liam McNally asked how long it would have taken the dog to die and was told that the animal weighed 6kgs while the dog’s normal weight should have been between 20-25kgs.

He asked how long the dog was dead and was told at least five days but possibly as long as 21 days.

A defence solicitor said her client had her own problems and that she regretted what had happened.

Judge McNally said: “I have to say that this is an appalling case.”

He said that Best “must have been aware of the suffering of a dog starved to death in front of you over a period of time”.

He also imposed a sentence of four months in prison suspended for three years and ordered Best to pay £150 in costs.

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