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Newtownabbey Resident Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to Causing Unnecessary Suffering to His Dogs

Robert Guy, of Ballyfore Park in Newtownabbey, faced sentencing earlier this month at Belfast Magistrates’ Court, after previously pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs.

Charges were brought by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.  Additionally, Mr. Guy was found to have breached a Disqualification Order prohibiting him from keeping dogs for seven years, which had been imposed in November 2021.

An investigation was conducted in August 2023 by the Council’s Animal Welfare Officer after receiving a report that Mr Guy had dogs on his property, with indications suggesting the dogs had attacked each other. Upon inspection, officers discovered two dogs with fur loss, filthy ears and puncture wounds. A veterinarian confirmed that one dog was suffering from putrid wounds, while the other had very short cropped ears.  Furthermore, both animals had visible skin lesions and were in a filthy state. Both dogs were treated for their injuries and condition, and were both successfully rehomed. 

On 12 March 2024, the judge imposed a 15-year disqualification ban preventing Mr Guy from owning dogs, alongside a four-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, for his failure to ensure the welfare of the seized dogs.

Commenting on the case, a Spokesperson for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said:

“Council is committed to upholding the welfare of domestic pets and horses, enforcing stringent policies to ensure full compliance with regulatory requirements. Complaints are investigated thoroughly, and when warranted, we take formal action, ranging from issuing Improvement Notices to, in extreme cases, the seizure of animals.  The Council may also prosecute for offences such as in this case which I hope serves as a warning to those who do not take appropriate care of their animals”.