Suspended jail terms were handed down to a man and woman after an emaciated German Shepherd was found at a house in Lurgan.
Freddie Gentle, a resident of Limefield, Portadown, and Ms Shannon Reynolds, from Carrigart Crescent, Lurgan, both pleaded guilty to animal welfare offence relating to a German Shepherd type dog named Jet.
They were sentenced in Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 6 March 2018.
The case arose following a visit to Ms Reynolds house in Carrigart Crescent, Lurgan by an animal welfare officer from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
At the premises, the officer found an emaciated German Shepherd type dog named Jet and was informed that the dog belonged to Gentle who was not a resident at the property.
Weak and unsteady in its walking, the dog was examined by a veterinary surgeon and deemed to be suffering.
District Judge Ranaghan sentenced Mr Gentle to six months in custody for causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and four months in custody for failing to ensure the welfare needs of the dog were being met.
These custodial sentences will be suspended for three years.
In addition, the Judge disqualified Mr Gentle from keeping animals for three years and ordered him to pay costs of £217.
Ms Reynolds was sentenced to three months in custody for failing to ensure the welfare needs of the dog were being met, which will be suspended for two years and ordered to pay costs of £217.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Gareth Wilson, welcomed the Court’s ruling and said: “The mistreatment of animals in our society is unacceptable. I commend the animal welfare officer involved in this particular case, which highlights how Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council operates a rigorous enforcement policy – necessary to make sure that those people in our society who cause animals to suffer are brought before the courts.
“I would continue to 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 on 028 3751 5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the issuing of Improvement Notices or, where appropriate, the seizure of animals and prosecution.”