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Woman who left her dogs to starve given lifetime ban on pets

By Cate McCurry

A co Armagh woman has been banned from keeping animals for life after she starved her pet dog and puppy.

Jennifer Wilson (45) pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and to failing to care for the two German Shepherds.

The nine-month-old pup was so malnourished that it struggled to get up from the floor when Animal Welfare Officers arrived at the property.

Wilson, of Churchill Park in Portadown, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates Court on Tuesday where she admitted the offences.

The case arose from an animal welfare complaint received by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in March last year about the condition of dogs kept by Wilson.

On investigation of the complaint, the Animal Welfare Officer found two German Shepherd type dogs in Wilson's care.

One of the dogs, an adult female, was underweight and a male pup - approximately nine-months-old - struggled to get up due to being extremely underweight.

The dogs were removed from the property and brought into the care of the council where the dogs both regained weight and, in time, made a full recovery.

After hearing details of the horrific case, Judge King ordered a lifetime disqualification for Wilson from keeping any animals as well as a fine of £350, and awarded a total of £969 in costs to the council.

The council's head of Environmental Health, Gillian Topping, welcomed the court's ruling.

She said: "The mistreatment of animals in our society is not acceptable. The council welcomes the court's decision to impose a lifetime ban on people who allow animals to suffer.

"We hope that this case again demonstrates that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council continues to adhere to a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of the legislation.

"I would urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspected cases of mistreatment or cruelty to domestic animals and equines to our animal welfare team."

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