Cookstown woman urges support for rally against animal cruelty in memory of starved Prince

Robert Porter, 30, from Maghera admitted he had not fed his husky, Prince, for a number of weeks before it died on his kitchen floor.
Robert Porter, 30, from Maghera admitted he had not fed his husky, Prince, for a number of weeks before it died on his kitchen floor.

A shocking case of animal cruelty in the Mid Ulster area has prompted one Cookstown woman to issue a rallying cry ahead of a planned march in Belfast this weekend.

On Saturday, a demonstration against ‘Lenient Sentencing for Animal Cruelty Offences in Northern Ireland’ will be held outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast.

These cases of animal cruelty are happening on our doorstep and we must do everything we can to help stop these animals suffering.

Kathryn McDowell

The event which starts at 11am is something which local woman Kathryn McDowell believes has particular significance for this part of the country.

Kathryn pointed to the recent court case which revealed the severe suffering which a dog had to endure in Maghera before its death.

The USPCA have already slammed the sentence given to Robert Porter who starved his dog to death in Maghera.

Porter admitted he had not fed his husky, Prince, for a number of weeks before it died on his kitchen floor.

He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of his dog and admitted that the animal’s carcass had lain in the kitchen for four months after its death.

He was ordered to serve 80 hours community service, was given 12 months probation, disqualified from keeping any animal for five years and must pay legal and court costs of £266.

“When you hear about cases like this, it makes you angry and it’s important that we send out the message that there must be proper punishment for this type of crime,” said Kathryn.

“I hope that as many as people as possible from Mid Ulster will go along to Belfast to show their support at the rally. These cases of animal cruelty are happening on our doorstep and we must do everything we can to help stop these animals suffering.”

The organisers of the rally, posted on Facebook: “ We are calling on people to join us in saying WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH! We are proposing that we gather outside Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast on Saturday 14th May at 11am.

“We NEED everyone and anyone who is willing to stand up and be heard for those who can’t. ‘Liking’ or commenting on a Facebook post, changes nothing. We need to make some noise.”