A teenager has been banned from owning any animals for five years after neglecting her dog for a month — causing the skeletal pet to undergo eye removal surgery.
The 19-year-old told an inspector from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) she had left her Rottweiler in the care of a friend while on holiday, but was unable to prove that person’s existence.
She appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, having previously pled guilty to causing the animal unnecessary suffering between December 23, 2017, and January 23. The charge stated she did not provide the dog with appropriate care and treatment, failed to provide adequate nutrition and hydration and did fail to seek veterinary advice and treatment for the dog, which was suffering from chronic health conditions including emaciation, muscle loss and eye conditions.
After returning home, she was visited by the SSPCA on January 23, when an order was made for the dog to be taken to a vet for a full examination, which revealed the animal – now rehomed – had suffered a ruptured eye, muscle loss and weighed just 13.8kg when the normal weight is between 20 and 25kg.
She told the SSPCA inspector she didn’t contact her friend when away as she didn’t have their mobile number.
Procurator fiscal depute Samantha Brown said: “The accused indicated she had asked a friend to look after her dog and had come home to find that didn’t happen. The examination reflected that immediate care should have been sought when her eye was ruptured.”
The court heard she was a first offender and had suffered from mental health problems but accepted culpability.
She was disqualified from owning any animal until 2023 and ordered to complete 110 hours of unpaid work within six months. She was also placed under supervision for a year.