Death of pregnant terrier left in car at game fair sparks Northern Ireland council probe
An investigation is under way after the death of a pregnant dog which had been left in a car at last Sunday's Irish Game Fair at Shane's Castle in Antrim.
The Belfast Telegraph understands the black terrier died when her owner was called in to judge an event at the last minute.
A spokesman for the organisers of the Irish Game Fair said they will co-operate fully with a council investigation.
"We are treating this very seriously and will of course be working with and co-operating fully with the investigation and will be happy to give a full briefing when the investigation is concluded," he said.
"We had a professional health and safety officer on the scene. This is the first time in 40 years of organising the event that we've encountered an incident like this."
It's understood the dog was in the car with the windows down and was moved to the boot of the vehicle as attempts to resuscitate it were made.
The USPCA has issued a reminder to dog owners following the incident.
"The USPCA welcome the inquiry into the shocking death of the terrier and her unborn pups and we await its outcome and any actions taken," the organisation said.
"It would be timely to warn pet owners yet again of the appalling consequences that arise from leaving animals to swelter in parked cars and unventilated conservatories.
"This charity constantly reminds owners of their duty of care towards companion animals in a typical summer, let alone a heatwave. When an animal suffers through negligence the owner is committing a criminal offence they should be prosecuted and if found guilty be banned from keeping animals."
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: "We can confirm the Council is currently investigating an incident which took place at the Irish Game Fair on Sunday 24 June 2018 at Shane's Castle Estate, under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
"We are unable to comment further at this stage. However, Council would ask anyone with information that may assist in our investigation to contact the Animal Welfare Service on (028) 2563 3134."