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Woman’s dog found starved to death and hanging from blinds

CourtsBy Sunday World
Aleshia McLaverty
Aleshia McLaverty

23-year-old Aleshia McLaverty has been banned from owning a pet for five years and handed a suspended two months jail term for permitting unnecessary pain or distress to her pet Labrador.

The dog was found in a flat hanging from blinds after it had made a desperate attempt to escape through the window.

Animal welfare officials made the grim discovery at an apartment registered to McLaverty in the Greystone estate in Antrim.

McLaverty outside court

 The starved maggot-infested pet was so thirsty it drank a household toilet bowl dry.

She pleaded guilty to charges of permitting unnecessary pain or distress to a dog under her control and being the keeper of a dog without a valid licence.

The post mortem revealed that the Labrador died of dehydration and starvation and it was almost dead when it tried to jump through the window where it ultimately became tangled in the blind.

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Click here for scene image of Labrador 

Malcolm Irvine, prosecuting told the court that there was no food and the toilet bowl was dry suggesting the dog had drank from it and there were scratch marks on packets of food consistent with the dog trying to find something to eat.

Animal welfare officers received a report from a member of the public about a dead dog at a premises on the Firmount Drive area last April, Mr Irvine told the court.

Upon entering the property the officers were met with a "pungent" smell and a house full of flies with floors covered with dog faeces.

During interviews McLavery initially claimed that it was her sister’s dog, but later in court pleaded guilty to the offences.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said it was a "tragic case of passive neglect" and that although McLaverty did not have direct control of the dog and the house was "abandoned" and had not been lived in for some time and the dog was trapped in the house when she became pregnant and went to live with her mother.

By her guilty plea he said she accepted she knew the dog was in the house and "effectively did nothing about it".

Suspending a two months jail term for two years, District Judge Alan White said he had to give credit for the guilty plea and her clear record and the fact she has a "new baby" and he ordered her to pay costs of £119.