Jail term for man who kicked dog is welcomed
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has hailed the first jail term imposed under a new law strengthening penalties for cruelty.
It follows a sentence of one month imposed last Friday on a man who kicked a Pomeranian dog less than 10in tall in the belly with steel-capped boots and sent him through the air several feet into a ditch. The 11-year-old dog, called Millie, died in an animal hospital nine days later.
Ballyshannon District Court heard a vet's report that the dog died of sudden and severe trauma probably caused by a kick.
The court heard Millie was attacked by 53-year-old father of one Martin McGonigle during an angry exchange with the pet's 73-year-old owner, Patsy Quinn, and his son Kevin near Ballyshannon.
Judge Kevin Kilrane imposed a one-month sentence for cruelty and causing unnecessary harm to the dog last February. He also fined McGonigle, of Belleek, Co Fermanagh, €300 for assaulting Patsy Quinn and causing him harm. McGonigle was freed on bail pending appeal.
ISPCA senior animal welfare inspector for the north-west Kevin McGinley welcomed the sentence, the first under the Animal Health and Welfare Act of 2013.
He said: "This sentence sends out a very clear message that animal abuse will not be tolerated."