Mr Jamie McDonagh of Mullaghmore Drive, Omagh was sentenced at Omagh Magistrates’ Court on March 27, after being convicted for abandoning without reasonable cause, causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of his Cocker Spaniel type dog in 2021.
The charges were brought against Mr McDonagh by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
Proceedings followed an investigation by the Council’s Animal Welfare Officers, following a complaint received in September 2021 regarding welfare concerns for a Cocker Spaniel type dog known as “Lola” which had been handed into a local veterinary practice after being found straying in the Omagh area by a member of the public.
As part of the follow up investigation, Animal Welfare Officers, discovered that the dog was registered by Mr Jamie McDonagh. Due to her extremely poor body condition and diagnosis of various diseases, the vet made the decision to euthanize Lola. The Animal Welfare Officer’s view was that Lola suffered from a lack of care in the last weeks, if not months, of her life. She was malnourished and suffering from several diseases simultaneously.
Mr McDonagh was convicted in his absence in February 2023 but later admitted all offences. District Judge Kelly disqualified Mr McDonagh from owning, keeping or participating in the keeping of animals and from being party to an arrangement under which that person is entitled to control or influence the way in which animals are kept for a period of 10 years. Mr McDonagh was given 3 months custodial sentence on two counts which was suspended for 2 years and fined £500 for abandoning the dog. He was also ordered to pay legal costs totalling £218.
Commenting after the proceedings, a spokesperson for Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, said, “The 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, the seizure of animals.”
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