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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Man sentenced after pleading guilty to allow five dogs to suffer and failing to ensure their welfare

Suffering and neglected dog


Conor Ward aged 31, of Cranny Avenue, Carnlough was sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 24 January, after previously pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of a number of dogs.

The charges were brought against Mr Ward 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 Mr Ward’s property in November 2020 following a report of a dead dog at the property. A warrant was executed, and a dead dog was present in the rear garden and several other underweight dogs were present living in dirty conditions. The dogs were taken to the vets for treatment for various ailments.


A Staffordshire Bull terrier was found in the main area of the garden and was dead on arrival. Numerous puncture wounds were present on the neck and back.

Suffering and neglected dog

Another male Staffordshire Bull terrier was observed eating the corpse of the dead dog and was found to be timid and underweight.

A third Staffordshire Bull Terrier had a body score 2/9 and had bleeding puncture wounds to her face.

An English Bull Terrier was found in a pen by itself and was a good weight with no fresh injuries however historic scars present on both front feet, nose, head and carpus regions.

Suffering and neglected dog

The last dog found was a very scared Staffordshire Bull Terrier which had numerous wounds on the top of her head and above her nose and these were bleeding.

All dogs were treated for injuries at Council Veterinary Practice and all the dogs were successfully rehomed.


On 24th February 2021 judge granted disposal of three dogs and awarded £5,356.62 costs as well as £130 court fees.


On January 24th 2024 District Judge Broderick imposed a 20 year disqualification order on owning all animals and a 6 month custodial sentence.


Suffering and neglected dog


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”.

Suffering and neglected dog


Mr Ward previously pleaded guilty in respect ofcausing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of 5 dogs, which are offences contrary to section 4 and 9 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

Ward has lodged an appeal to be heard on 12th February 2024.

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