#TheList Nakita Coulter (DoB 15/12/1989) of Beechfield Avenue, Carrickfergus BT38 7SN – allowed a dog to become emaciated.
Coulter had denied failing to ensure the welfare of Ghostie but was convicted by Laganside magistrates on Tuesday 15/3/16.
Pictures of the neglected dog on the day she was found reveal her prominent bones and small frame.
The charge was brought against Coulter by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
David Wilson, a spokesman for animal welfare charity the USPCA, said that the council should consider appealing the sentence as it could be viewed as not being tough enough.
“The USPCA would regard this as being a case where the sentence is very lenient and we feel the council welfare should look again at the court’s decision and if possible appeal the sentence,” he said.
“The maximum sentence for that type of offence is five years custodial, though I am not suggesting that is applied here, but I do think if sentences are to act as a deterrent they will have to be handed down on that basis.
“It could be pointed out that banning [Coulter] from keeping pets is available to the court.”
Mr Wilson added: “A person who allows an animal to suffer needlessly in that manner should be banned from keeping animals for life.”
Sentence: conditional discharge and £366 council costs; NO ban.