Man accused of burying dog alive ‘at risk of attack’ as he’s released on tag

A man accused of burying a dog alive under rubble is deemed to be “at risk” as he was released from prison on bail, a court heard.

Peter Toland, 29, appeared at Dungannon Magistrates' Court earlier today (Saturday) after being charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and four counts of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of an animal.

According to local police in Derry, a member of the public had found a severely emaciated dog in an “extremely poor state” underneath rubble at Ballyarnett Country Park.

The dog was found with “multiple punctures” to the nose and head, its abdomen had collapsed and was covered in bite marks.

Due to the condition of the female dog, which appeared to have given birth to several litters, the vet treating her decided to euthanise as it appeared to be unresponsive to treatment.

They described it to the police as being subjected to “extreme cruelty”.

An investigation was launched, which led to Toland, of Cornshell Fields, Derry, being arrested after a warrant was issued.

During a bail hearing, police officers stated Toland was a “flight risk”, and that being at home would also leave him “at risk” because he was known to the public.

His home had already been attacked with windows smashed, the court was told.

A defence barrister said his client denies any knowledge of the injuries to the dog.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan said emotion must be taken out of the equation as defendants are “entitled to the presumption of bail and innocence”.

Despite the warnings, he was released with a £1,000 bond, but would be taken to a different address approved by police.

He was also given a strict 11pm-7am curfew and forced to wear an electronic tag.

He will also have to register with police three times per week and can not be left unsupervised with animals.

Toland will reappear at Derry Magistrates' Court next month.

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