Armagh mother and son plead guilty to animal welfare offences

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Mrs Deidre Sheridan of Callan Bridge Park, Armagh, and her son Mr Martin Sheridan, of the same address, were found guilty of animal welfare offences at Armagh Magistrates Court on Tuesday 17th November 2020.

Mrs Sheridan pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and Mr Sheridan pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the welfare of animals. Following a detailed inquiry into the case and hearing from Counsel on behalf of both Defendants, a £250 fine, the Offender Levy of £15 and a Costs Order of £176 was imposed on both parties. The court further disqualified Deirdre Sheridan from owning or keeping animals for a period of five years, pursuant to Section 33 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

The case was brought against Mrs Deidre Sheridan and Mr Martin Sheridan by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council following a complaint received in March 2018 from a local veterinary surgeon concerning a dog which had been taken into their practice for treatment.

The vet informed a council Animal Welfare Officer that following an assessment on a female Cocker Spaniel type dog, due to the severe poor condition of the animal, it had to euthanized.

On receiving this information the Animal Welfare Officer visited the property of the animal owner at Callan Bridge Park accompanied by the contracted vet where both parties acknowledged ownership of the animal.

During this visit the Animal Welfare Officer noticed a Jack Russell Terrier type dog which was assessed by the contracted vet who determined it as being likely to suffer. The animal was deemed to be in reasonable condition however due to the inability to provide veterinary care for the Cocker Spaniel and poor environmental conditions at the location, the dog was taken into the care of the council.

The actions of both Deirdre and Martin Sheridan failed to ensure the welfare of both dogs and caused the cocker spaniel to suffer by failing to provide proper veterinary attention for the animal when it had become ill.

A council spokesperson commented: “We will continue to investigate all instances of animal welfare concerns brought to our attention and will use all enforcement powers available to us to take action against anyone guilty of causing neglect or cruelty to animals. We would also ask the public if they have any concerns regarding the safety or welfare of an animal to report it to the council on T: 028 3751 5800 or email