Man appears in court after dog found buried alive in Derry

Man appears in court after dog found buried alive in Derry

A MAN has appeared in court after a dog was found buried alive in Derry this week.

Peter Toland, 29, of Cornshell Fields, appeared at Dungannon Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

He was released on bail after being charged with unnecessary suffering of a dog and three counts of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of an animal.

The three-year-old dog, named Luna, was found partially buried by a member of the public in Ballyarnett Country Park on Wednesday.

It was taken to a vet but was found to be emaciated and unresponsive with multiple puncture wounds to its nose and head, leaving the vet with no option but to put the animal to sleep.

Sharing details of the incident, animal welfare organisation Pet FBI Rescue said Luna 'was humanely put to sleep when the vet team determined she was too far gone and she passed away in the arms of our volunteer'.

According to BBC News NI, Toland denied being in Derry at the time of the incident and said he had no knowledge of how the dog came by its injuries.

It added that a police search of Toland's home ahead of his court appearance also revealed three dogs living in unsanitary conditions without bedding or water.

"On Thursday, March 16, officers also conducted a search under warrant at a property in the Carnhill area," Inspector Kyle Rowntree said on Friday.

"Three dogs were removed and placed into the appropriate care for their wellbeing.

"Enquiries are continuing and police would like to thank the local community for their assistance in relation to this investigation."

The case has been adjourned until April 13.