A man who admitted causing unnecessary suffering to over a dozen animals has been banned from keeping pets for five years.
Richard Crozier, a resident of Annsville, Newry, appeared at Newry Magistrates Court on Monday charged with causing unnecessary suffering to five adult dogs, four dependant pups and four ferrets in his care.
A case was brought against Mr Crozier by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council following a complaint received in March 2016 and December 2016 concerning a number of animals which were being kept in unsuitable conditions.
Crozier was charged with the offence of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals and for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of the animals was being met.
A statement from the council said that when animal welfare visited the property on March 4, 2016 they found that the conditions in which the animals were being kept to be “appalling”.
The local authority added: “One of the dogs – a lurcher type – was dead on arrival. The dog was chained to a kennel and had a muzzle attached, there were several open wounds on the dog’s legs. The ribs, spine and pelvis were all obvious. A post mortem found that the dog was severely emaciated.
“This was one of the worst cases the animal welfare officer has ever been involved with as the level of neglect was clearly evident.
“A veterinary surgeon examined the remaining animals at the property and deemed them to be suffering.”
The animals were taken into the possession of the council.
In court, Mr Crozier pleaded guilty to all four charges which were brought by the council under the provisions of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
He received a disqualification order preventing him from keeping animals for a period of five years and was ordered to pay fines of £250 on each of the charges.
A council spokesperson said: “This ruling will hopefully serve as a reminder that anyone who owns a pet must take proper steps to care for them, as required under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011. The council will take action against anyone found failing to ensure the welfare of an animal, and if necessary, they will be brought before the courts and dealt with appropriately.
“Cases of cruelty and neglect can be reported to our animal welfare team who will use enforcement powers to fully investigate all cases and take formal action, which may include the issuing of improvement notices, and in the most serious of cases, removing animals and prosecuting offenders”.
The animal welfare team can be contacted on 028 3751 5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org