A charity has hit out at a sheriff who allowed animals to be given back to a woman who had earlier been convicted of neglecting them.
Despite keeping the creatures in “deplorable conditions”, Ann Wynd is still being allowed to look after some of her animals.
The 75-year-old, now of Simpson Drive, Maddiston, was earlier found guilty of failing to look after and causing unnecessary suffering to 19 dogs, three Shetland ponies, one horse, two goats and two donkeys, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act.
She was originally banned from keeping animals for three years – except for four dogs and four sheep.
However, last Wednesday at Falkirk Sheriff Court, after being told Wynd had made “improvements” to the area where she kept sheep, she was given another four back.
Sheriff Derek O’Carroll also placed her on a community payback order with three years social work supervision. He added a further condition that she must allow qualified vets to inspect her animals and her property.
The sheriff said she was still not suitable to be given back eight Shetland ponies, but he told her he would review his banning order on December 22.
A four-day trial earlier this year was told that the offences came to light when Wynd’s husband died suddenly in November 2012.
Police went to Windyrigg Farm, Standburn, to deal with the death and called in the Scottish SPCA because of what they found.
The animal welfare charity’s Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said it was “one of the most tragic cases we have ever dealt with”.
He said: “When we arrived at Wynd’s property, we were shocked by what we found. The house itself was filthy and the floor was thick with faeces and mud.
“A large number of dogs were kept in cramped, dirty cages within the house, with inadequate bedding and no food or water available. The cages were so small the dogs barely had enough room to stand up or turn around.
“Given the extent of the pain and distress these animals endured we are extremely disappointed 12 animals have been given back to Wynd and that more may be returned to her.
“The scale of suffering involved in this case was horrendous and in our view would have merited Wynd being banned from owning animals for life.”