A Maghera man has receives 80 hours community service after pleading guilty to animal welfare offences
Robert Porter, age 30, formerly a resident of King William III Crescent in Maghera was sentenced at Magherafelt Magistrates Court, on Monday after previously pleading guilty to causing the unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of a Husky-type dog for which he was responsible.
The charges were brought against Mr Porter by Mid Ulster District Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
The charges related to findings following an investigation by Animal Welfare Officers regarding offences, which related to a dog that had died of starvation whilst in Mr Porter’s care.
Mr Porter was ordered to serve 80 hours community service, was given a 12 month probation period, disqualified from keeping any animal for a 5 year period and must pay legal and court costs of £266.
Councillor Christine McFlynn, Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, said: “This was a harrowing case and one which we would all hope would never occur and we would never have to prosecute.
“However, the reality is that cases like this do happen and when they do, we will investigate and we will take appropriate action, whether that means serving a notice or, in extreme cases, seizing an animal.
“I hope lessons will be learnt from the outcome of this prosecution and sentencing”.
During police interview, Porter admitted the dog had been dead for four months, and that it had not been fed for several weeks before it died.