A man has been banned for life from keeping pets in Northern Ireland after he locked up his dog and cat for a fortnight.

Mr Airidas Jurevicius, Northland Village, Dungannon, was sentenced at Dungannon Magistrates Court on July 10 for abandoning a Staffordshire bull terrier and a cat without reasonable cause on May 26, 2016.

He was also charged with failing to look after the welfare needs of the dog and cat.

After concerned residents contacted the Mid Ulster District Council’s welfare service, officers went to a house at Roxborough Heights, Moy, Dungannon. They found a black and white Staffordshire bull terrier locked in the garage and surrounded by faeces. A tabby cat was discovered in the house, where there was a strong smell of urine.

The officers were told that the tenants were out of the country and had left the pets locked up.

A vet was subsequently called to the scene and the animals were seized as it was deemed that 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 dog and cat but he had not arranged for anyone to look after his pets while he was away.

Mr 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.  Mr Jurevicius did not attend Court on either occasion.

Commenting on the case, 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.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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