Caution issued over pet left in hot car

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A person who left a dog in a car for over an hour on a hot day in June is to be offered a ‘simple caution’ by Ballymena Borough Council after admitting ‘abandoning’ the animal and ‘failing to make adequate provision for its welfare’.

Councillors agreed the course of action, which was recommended by investigating council officers, at their August monthly meeting and also endorsed the recommendation that in the event that the person failed to accept a simple caution, Council would proceed to prosecute them.

Outlining the background to the incident, Acting Chief Executive Rodger McKnight said the Environmental Health Department were notified on June 17 that a dog had been left in a car on the Ballymoney Road during the hot weather and that the occupants had walked towards the town centre. Various attempts were made via the police to locate the owner of the car by the Borough Warden and Animal Welfare Officer who went to the scene and veterinary advice was sought.

Due to the length of time the dog was in the car and because the dog appeared to be in distress, a window was broken to gain access to the car and release the dog which was taken to a local vet, councillors were told. An Environmental Health Services report on the incident revealed that the car occupants returned to the vehicle some 75 minutes after leaving the dog.

It also stated that the individual responsible admitted abandoning the dog and failing to make adequate provision for its welfare but described “mitigating circumstances in their defence”.

The report stated: “The dog owner had been refused entry to a number of shops in the town and thought to leave the dog in the car for a short time; however, she was longer than anticipated”.