‘Animal lover’ who bludgeoned puppy to death sentenced to 15 months

Kyle Keegan banned from owning any animal for 30 years after drug-fuelled killing


A self-proclaimed animal lover who bludgeoned an 11-week-old puppy to death with a hammer while high on a cocktail of drink and drugs has been jailed for 15 months.

Ordering 24-year-old Kyle Keegan, from Lurgan, to spend the same period under supervised licence conditions, Craigavon Crown Court Judge Neil Rafferty said his claims of being an animal lover “doesn’t sit easily with what he has pleaded guilty to.”

Imposing a 30-year prohibition on Keegan owning any animal, the judge said the sentence must not just punish him but also “deter other young men or other offenders from dealing with animals in this violent and vile and savage manner”.

He told Keegan: “It is difficult to imagine how violence could be any more gratuitous than one meted out to an 11-week-old, small-breed puppy by the use we know of a claw hammer to stove its skull in.

“Mr Keegan, your actions towards this small and defenceless animal were barbaric. There is little that can be said that would express the horror of this small dog’s death at your hands.“

A day before he was due to go on trial last month Keegan, from Gilpins Manor, confessed to causing unnecessary suffering to Sparky, a cross breed Chihuahua puppy, on February 3rd last year.

A post mortem examination revealed Keegan had used a claw hammer to strike “two or three blows” to the dog’s head and shoulder, causing multiple skull fractures and his brain to bleed into his lungs.