#TheList Marlene McDonagh, born 12/07/1962, and David Moore, aged 56, from Loughdoo Road, Larne – pleaded guilty to animal cruelty involving 12 dogs, four cats and two guinea pigs
Hypocrites McDonagh and partner Moore claimed to be animal welfare campaigners. McDonagh is also well known in German Shepherd show and breeding circles.
Charges were brought against the pair following an investigation by council Animal Welfare Officers.
The officers at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council took the case under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
Officers reported that :
- A number of animals were severely matted with faeces stuck to their coats.
- A number of dogs living inside the home were living in dirty conditions.
- Several of the internal rooms had litter trays overflowing and with faeces also present on the floor.
- The main bedroom housed seven chihuahuas and a Jack Russell terrier.
- The floor was covered in puppy pads, urine and faeces.
- Two guinea pigs found at the property had grossly overgrown nails.
- A German Shepherd found at the property had faeces stuck to his severely matted coat and had a bilateral ear infection which was causing pain.
- The German Shepherd also had proprioceptive deficits in the hind legs and remains unable to walk properly.
- Five dogs and one cat had to be shaved as their coats were so matted.
McDonagh and Moore pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the welfare of the animals contrary to section 9 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “The Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.
“Officers have a number of enforcement options available to them and will try to work with those responsible for animals. However where there is unsatisfactory improvement, such as in this case significant enforcement powers are available to Council Officers to ensure matters are fully investigated and anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals will be brought before the courts.”
Speaking about the paltry sentencing of the couple, a spokesman for German Shepherd RRR which is one of the sanctuaries that took in the animals, said: “We appreciate all the hard work by the welfare officers at the council to expose this disgusting situation but we are deeply disappointed at the sentencing of McDonagh and Moore.
“We continue our call for strict controls on people who are responsible for the welfare of animals, tougher sentences for convicts, an offenders’ register so there is more of a deterrent for people who feel it is acceptable to treat animals in such an appalling manner.
“At least we can name and shame these two. We can only continue to hope for lifetime bans for people convicted of animal cruelty.”
Four-month custodial sentence, suspended for three years. Moore was ordered to pay costs including kennelling, veterinary and legal fees totalling £4,300.
McDonagh and Moore were both and disqualified from keeping animals for at least five years except for two dogs and a fish.
Update 20/12/2018: it was reported that Marlene McDonagh had her ban from keeping animals lifted on appeal.