Applaud Jail Sentence for Man Who Burned Dog Alive


Target: Recorder Judge David McFarland, Belfast, Ireland Crown Court

Goal: Praise sentencing of man who burned family dog alive

Many of us could never imagine harming a defenseless animal, especially a beloved pet, but 23-year-old Andrew Stewart of Northern Ireland had no problem viciously attacking a three-year-old border collie named Cody by dousing the animal with diesel fuel and setting him on fire. After much public outcry, to the tune of 60,000 who pledged support for the Justice for Cody Facebook campaign, Stewart was sentenced to 20 months in prison and banned from owning a pet for 30 years.

The horrific crime, which Stewart actively denied executing, took place in a County Antrim quarry nearly two years ago. According to published reports, Cody was burned so severely that her rib cage was visible through her charred skin. The once playful and energetic border collie survived, miraculously, for nearly two weeks before veterinarians concluded that she would never recover from her injuries. She was later euthanized.

The case, which sent shockwaves throughout Northern Ireland, is said to be the first time an individual has ever been found guilty of animal cruelty offenses. The sentencing comes after much debate about animal cruelty crimes prompted legislation to be drafted in late 2011.

For years, individuals have escaped jail sentences for crimes against animals and, at one time, there simply were no reprimands in place to address animal welfare issues. Today, thanks to Judge David McFarland of Belfast’s Crown Court, offenders can now expect to face the full power of the law.

Sign the petition to thank Recorder Judge David McFarland for his valorous efforts in seeking justice for Cody.


Dear Judge David McFarland,

This letter is to thank you, wholeheartedly, for your efforts in the fight for justice for border collie and beloved family pet Cody. The ridiculously heinous crime committed by Andrew Stewart is simply unforgivable. To viciously attack a defenseless animal, especially when he posed no threat, is unjustifiable and I am grateful to know that you agreed with the public’s outcry for retribution.

Animal welfare is an issue that has been largely ignored for many years. As East Belfast MP, Naomi Long, expressed “the custodial sentences and…the judge’s decision ha[s] set a precedent.” Previous offenders have eluded jail sentences and many animals have been exploited, abused, or worse, killed, because there were no consequences for violating an animal’s welfare. Today, animal rights activists, pet owners, and animal caretakers of Northern Ireland and beyond can breathe a sigh of relief as animal abusers are now prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Your efforts are truly appreciated, and I am delighted to know that Andrew Stewart will never have the opportunity to hurt, maim or kill another animal again.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Jose M. Argibay says:

    I am glad this asshole will be in jail, but Just 20 months in prison? Why not a life sentence? So It gets out in less than 2 years, even less if the asshole plays good behavior in jail, and It kills even more poor animals? Or may kill a person now, surely an asshole that kills animals has no soul, so what is to prevent this asshole from killing another animal, a child , or several? This asshole, it can only be referred to as It.

  2. Diane Jamieson says:

    Thank God at last somebody has got some sense.

  3. Chris Speechly says:

    Of course a longer sentence would be preferable but a huge step forward for Belfast given the tragic and unforgivable fiasco involving dog Lennox.

  4. He is a hopeless POS who cannot be helped & no doubt will kill again. Maybe his cellmates will take care of him for Cody and save taxpayer $$.

  5. 20 months is way too lenient — you’re dealing with a psychopathic idiot — THINK HOW CODY MUST’VE SUFFERED!? I would’ve given him 20 years — he’s a danger to society — he has NO mind, NO brain — he’s an insane moron! What kind of person does this?!

  6. I hope some dog lovers/animal lovers find out what you did and deliver some real justice to you, you POS!

  7. Dianne Sakoua says:

    I wish his sentence could have been longer, but how wonderful he did get a sentence and animal rights are starting to be recognised by the law. That poor dog…I hope this perpetrator sees his actions as disgraceful and turns his life around. Animal abuse is unacceptable.

  8. karol hickman says:

    Hope this piece of trash is in the general population in prison and the other inmates beat him to a pulp every day of his sentence. May he wish that he were dead. Hope he suffers torture for what he did to that dog. He doesn’t deserve to live.

  9. Despina M. Andrelus says:

    Abuse is the ultimate betrayal towards any living soul and absolutely heartbreaking all the way around. You simply can not do such a horrific thing without it killing the best in you. Period. If you find people happily willing to hurt an animal in any way, they are actually finding a venue to act out their deepest, most inner evil fantasies of twisted sickness. There’s nothing more revolting than that. Aside from this, it has been proven over and over again that people who have horrid intents with animals, get bored with them soon enough, ultimately leading them to bigger prey, moving up to people, in order to re-ignite and enhance the excitement that the torturing of animals used to provide. It’s simply never enough. And do not forget, these horrendous monsters also end up raising their children in “the game”, breeding evil, little sickos to continue on “the trade”… no doubt causing abuse in every level of their lives, as well. It’s just a revolting cycle that will never end until someone gets into it and breaks the heart-wrenching pattern. So, even if an animal is not of your some peoples utmost concern, then note that it will not stop there. It is just a start. And it is just a matter of time.

  10. Despina M. Andrelus says:

    “A righteous man regards the life of animals” – PROVERBS 12:10; “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion & pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men” – ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI; “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.; “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs… (They) are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no rights to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty….” – JAMES HARRIOT; “The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – MAHATMA GANDHI

  11. Despina M. Andrelus says:

    God bless this beautiful judge for setting a most important precedence. I do hope the sentences get more stern in the future, but this is definitely much better than what they had before, which was NOTHING!!!

  12. Cindy Black says:

    If I caught someone trying to burn a dog alive (!!) or hurting helpless animals, I’d kill him with my bare hands. Piece of scum has no right to live, and is too nuts and dangerous to live. Plus I wouldn’t be able to stop myself anyway.

  13. DR. RUCHI TRIPATHI says:


  14. Sallyann Davis says:

    although this is a step in the right direction, 2 months in jail still isnt enough for whast this guy did to this poor defensless animal . in the end she died from the injurys so he should have been charged with pre meditated murder 1 which is life in prisonment and he should have had no chance of parol or appeals . people have got to pay for their actions . this dog is dead now through no fault of its own and suffered terribly before that , this man will soon be released to do this all over again to something else . so wrong . in an ideal world if a human being cannot be trusted bnot to harm other living things on this planet then he should be executred so it will not happen again for sure. going to jail does not cure this in people , they are what they are and will never stop doing it until they are stopped . releasing them from jail is just another animal or maybe child next time that is going to be killed or scarred for the rest of their lives , can you not see this anyone ?

  15. Richard H. Hutchinson says:

    The sentence/punishment he received doesn’t fit the crime. It should be more severe.

  16. Sheila Blackwell says:

    He should burn in HELL.

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