A man who left a dog and cat locked up while he left the country has been banned from keeping animals for life.
Airidas Jurevicius, with an address in Northland Village, Dungannon, was sentenced at Dungannon Magistrates Court on Monday in relation to abandoning a Staffordshire bull terrier and a cat without reasonable cause on May 26 2016. The Defendant was also charged with failing to look after the welfare needs of the dog and cat.
The charges were brought by the Mid Ulster District Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
Animal Welfare Officers were alerted regarding a dog locked in a garage and a cat locked in a house at the address in Roxborough Heights, Moy on May 26 2016. The tenants had been out of the country at the time.
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 animals, but he had no one arranged to attend to the cat and dog whilst he was away.
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. Jurevicius did not attend Court on either occasion.
In a statement following the prosecution, the Mid Ulster District Council said that it will continue to clamp down on irresponsible or neglectful animal owners.
Commenting, 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.”