Hillsborough man sentenced for animal cruelty after 10 dogs are found with ''horrendous' injuries

Marcus McMillan, of Drumlough Road, Royal Hillsborough on 19 July 2022 pleadedguilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to five dogs and one charge of failingto meet the needs of five dogs under the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011when prosecuted by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

The dogs had injuries to their heads and faces. They had untreated injuries including holes through the tissue surrounding their mouths, parts of their faces missing and other serious facial injuries.
The dogs had injuries to their heads and faces. They had untreated injuries including holes through the tissue surrounding their mouths, parts of their faces missing and other serious facial injuries.

Mr McMillan also failed to meet the needs of the animals causing them to endure horrendous injuries and survive without treatment of those injuries.

The charges date back to April 2021 and breach Section 4 and Section 9 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

On 13 April 2021 the Council’s Animal Welfare Service attended the property having been notified by PSNI of concerns for the animals living in an outhouse and pens.

The dogs had injuries to their heads and faces. They had untreated injuries including holes through the tissue surrounding their mouths, parts of their faces missing and other serious facial injuries, some more recent than others.

Paramilitary Crime Task Force officers, assisted by the Police Service’s Tactical Support Group and local district officers, had conducted a search in the Royal Hillsborough area and discovered and seized a number of dogs with serious injuries; as well as a quantity of cannabis, drug-related

paraphernalia and over £10,000 in cash.

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Detective Inspector Corrigan said: “During the search, officers found a total of ten dogs.

"Disturbingly, many of the dogs had sustained extremely serious injuries to their faces. The Council’s Animal Welfare Service was alerted to the situation immediately and attended the scene.’’

The Animal Welfare Officers found 10 dogs with varying degrees of serious injury kept in cages in outbuildings at the site.

The dogs had injuries to their heads and faces. They had untreated injuries including holes through the tissue surrounding their mouths, parts of their faces missing and other serious facial injuries.

The five dogs with active infections around the jaws required immediate treatment. One required hospitalization and surgery. There was no evidence of professional veterinary treatment having been sought, in spite of the seriousness of their injuries.

In her deliberations, Judge Rosie Waters described the injuries sustained by the dogs as horrendous and was surprised the dogs all survived.

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On 22 September 2022, Mr McMillan was sentenced to five months imprisonment and a lifetime ban from keeping animals was imposed.

Lisburn Council was awarded full costs of £6048.

“It’s thanks to collective efforts, and partnership with the council, that Mr McMillan has today been brought before court and held to account.” Detective Inspector Corrigan added.