Northern Ireland news

Arrests after dogs seized from east Belfast home

Two men were arrested after two dogs were seized from a house in east Belfast

TWO men have been arrested after police seized two dogs from a house in east Belfast.

The house in the lower Newtownards Road area was searched under animal welfare legislation.

It is believed some people who lived in the house were banned from keeping animals in 2014 after they admitted to training dogs for fighting.

A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police. A second man, aged 23, was arrested on suspicion of assault on police.

Both men were later released on Tuesday after they were given penalty notices of disorder.

Inspector Keith Hutchinson said police take animal welfare "very seriously".

"I would urge any member of the public to report anything to do with fighting offences, other criminal activity and/or a possible breach in a court order to their local police station on the non-emergency number 101," he said.

East Belfast assembly member Naomi Long said it is "vital" bans on keeping animals are "properly enforced".

"I commend the PSNI for prioritising animal welfare issues and removing these animals from a situation in which they or others could have been placed in danger," she said.

"There is no place in this society for cruelty and the public clearly feel strongly about the issue. There were significant improvements in the penalties possible in such cases, thanks to the work of my colleague David Ford, however, without adequate resources for enforcement banning orders are often meaningless."

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