Pair convicted of animal cruelty

The dog that was put to sleep as a result of neglect.
The dog that was put to sleep as a result of neglect.

Two people were convicted of animal cruelty offences at Craigavon Magistrates Court on Tuesday, January 5, following the discovery of three emaciated dogs in Bleary.

Both defendants, Peter Cawley of Colban Cresent, Lurgan and Nina Cawley of Holly Hill, Dollingstown, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of three dogs in their joint care.

Charges were brought against them by Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon District Council under Sections 4 and 9 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

Mr Cawley received a three-month sentence suspended for two years and Mrs Cauley a two-month sentence suspended for one year. Both were banned from owning any animal for a period of five years and were each ordered to pay court costs of £3727.22.

Animal Welfare Officers, who visited the couple’s former property on the Calverstown Road, Bleary, in October 2014, came across three emaciated dogs with no access to food, water or bedding. The dogs were kept in a pen with significant accumulations of dog faeces.

The veterinary surgeon who attended the scene noted a Shih Tzu type dog, who was blind and all but three of his teeth were missing. He had to be euthanised because of his extremely poor condition.

The second crossbred type dog had a growth on her back leg. She was extremely thin with dirty skin. Both she and a third boxer type dog were removed from the property and have since been successfully rehomed.

A Council spokesperson commented, “Whilst the majority of owners take good care of their pets, there is still a minority who neglect their needs and cause unnecessary suffering. There can be no justification for the mistreatment of animals. Thankfully in this case two of the dogs have found new loving homes. The public has an important role to play in helping the Animal Welfare team to identify potential cases of cruelty. Every call you make could potentially help a defenceless animal in need.”

To report suspected cases of animal cruelty, call 028 3751 5800 or email

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