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Co Antrim woman sentenced after failing to ensure welfare of family dog


A Larne woman was sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 26 January, after previously pleading guilty to failing to ensure the welfare of her Collie dog.

The charges were brought against Valerie Orr (55), of Mounthill Manor, by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

Proceedings followed an investigation by Council’s Animal Welfare Officer who visited the woman's property in March 2021.


A warrant was executed after the dog had been taken to a vet and concerns raised regarding the dog’s condition, in particular, the need for the dog to be euthanised was not adhered to.

The Collie known as “Harley” was examined by Council’s vet who advised the dog had a putrid smell coming from it, with large matts of hair that smelled strongly of urine and faeces, plus an infection around its backend.

The area under his tail was examined and the left anal gland was grossly enlarged with a nodular appearance. It had abscessed and leaked a lot of infected material. This painful and chronic lesion was causing suffering to this dog.

The decision was made to euthanize the dog in its best interest.


District Judge Broderick imposed a fine of £500 plus costs of £122.

An application by Council to disqualify the defendant from keeping of animals was granted by the court for a period of three years. Bail was granted pending appeal.

Commenting on the case a spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said:


“Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.


"Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of Improvement Notices, or in extreme cases, seizure of animals.

"The Council may also prosecute for offences such as in this case which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals”.