Mid Ulster District Council has stressed that it will continue to clamp down on irresponsible or neglectful animal owners, following a successful prosecution today at Dungannon Magistrates Court.
Mr Airidas Jurevicius, Northland Village, Dungannon, was sentenced at Dungannon Magistrates Court on Monday 10th July 2017 in relation to abandoning a Staffordshire bull terrier and a cat without reasonable cause on 26th May 2016. The Defendant was also charged with failing to look after the welfare needs of the dog and cat.
The charges were brought against Mr Jurevicius 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 at Roxborough Heights, Moy on 26th May 2016.
Mr Jurevicius was banned indefinitely from keeping animals and was ordered to pay £2011 costs and fined £500. A disposal order had been granted previously on 23rd September 2016 to allow the Council to rehome the animals. Mr Jurevicius did not attend Court on either occasion.
The Court was advised that Animal Welfare Officers had been contacted regarding a dog locked in a garage and a cat locked in a house at Roxborough Heights, Moy, Dungannon. The tenants had been out of the country at the time and left a cat inside the property and a dog in the garage.
Animal welfare officers attended the property and observed a black and white Staffordshire type dog locked in the in garage of property surrounded by a large number of faeces. A tabby cat was also observed inside the house which had a strong smell of urine emanating from the letter box. A vet was subsequently called to the scene and the animals were seized as they were likely to suffer if the circumstances did not change. The owner of the animals, Mr Jurevicius admitted later during interview that he had gone on holiday to Lithuania. He stated he had left enough food for two weeks for the dog and cat but he had no one arranged to attend to the cat and dog whilst he was away.
Commenting after the proceedings, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council’s Environment Committee, Cllr. Ronan McGinley said:
“I would 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 8225 6226. Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of Improvement Notices or, in extreme cases, the seizure of animals. The Council may also prosecute for offences, as in this particularly harrowing case, which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals.”