Belfast Telegraph

Owner of hanged terrier calls for tougher sentences

By Brendan McDaid

A woman whose dog was hanged with its own lead has called for tougher sentences for people who harm animals.

Julie Campbell also called for an animal abuse register so offenders can be monitored and prevented from being allowed to own pets.

The 35-year-old Limavady mother-of-three woke to find her two-year-old Jack Russell Buster hanged from a metal pole in her back yard on Tuesday morning.

She revealed yesterday that she will now have to give up her other dog, as she is leaving her home and moving into temporary accommodation in another town which cannot accommodate a dog.

Ms Campbell said that her six-month-old Rottweiler Kaiser was in the back yard when Buster was killed and that the pup has not stopped whimpering since.

There has been an outpouring of public anger at the killers and sympathy for the family.

Ms Campbell said: “I am really heartened by the support.”

However, she revealed that her eldest son has not spoken since he learned what had happened.

“My son turned 15 today. He hasn’t spoken since we told him. He was unable to go to school and his birthday is ruined.”

Ms Campbell was yesterday looking at finding alternative accommodation for her family.

“We are going to move away from Limavady altogether,” she said, adding that “the impact has been too deep”.

“I was brought up (here) — my mum (and nan) live in the estate and all my friends. It’s terrible that we have to move away.

“I think we maybe have to give our other dog away so we are going to go through that as well.”

Ms Campbell hopes that the fate of Buster and Cody, the border collie who died after being set on fire last month, will lead to more legal protection for animals in Northern Ireland.

“People that would do that to a pet should never be allowed to have a pet, and they should be really harshly punished for killing a dog, they should be jailed.

“The law should be changed to make sure of that and to keep a register of who they are.”

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