#TheList James Michael Lane, born July 1968, of Groomsport Road, Bangor, County Down BT20 – failed to act when his 14-year-old Labrador developed a painful “satsuma-sized” tumour.
A lawyer for Ards and North Down Council, which prosecuted the case, told the court an enforcement officer was contacted by a member of the public who had “serious concerns over the body condition” of a stray dog.
When the officer attended, he saw a “large open abscess growth on the side of the dog’s neck” so took the animal, called Tess, to the vet, who said that she was suffering.
In addition to that tumour, which was “red raw and coated in puss”, there was a second, smaller lump beside it, and the dog was described as skinny with her “ribs and spine clearly showing”.
Optometrist and company director Lane was spoken to and confirmed the family had owned Tess since she was a puppy, but she was now “doubly incontinent” and that the tumour had been there for about a month but had only opened in the previous two weeks because she had been scratching at it.
“He said that he hoped the dog would die peacefully,” said the lawyer, but he added the vet had told Lane that instead “she would likely die a slow and painful death”.
Lane signed the dog over voluntarily and she was put to sleep.
A defence solicitor entered guilty pleas on Lane’s behalf to offences of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, and failing to take reasonable steps to meet the dog’s needs on a date unknown on or before April 21 2016.
The solicitor said Tess had belonged to Lane’s daughter who had been sitting her A-levels and he did not want to upset her.
“He has been very contrite and in reflection, he should have euthanised the dog at an earlier stage,” the solicitor said.
Following the guilty pleas, the council’s lawyer withdrew the same charges against Lane’s wife, fellow optometrist and co-director of Lane & Lane (N.I.) Ltd, Carol Anne Lane ( born November 1967).
James Michael Lane and wife Carole Anne Lane operate an optician’s business named Lane & Lane.
Fined £5,000 plus costs. No ban was imposed by the court.