Lochgilphead man given community service and 10-year ban for dog cruelty
Lochgilphead man left three dogs, one with a litter of five puppies, locked in his flat without enough to eat and drink in filthy conditions, Oban Sheriff Court was told.
The dogs were so hungry they had attempted to eat plastic bags; the mother, having whelped, was sick and emaciated and when police and animal welfare personnel entered the premises they were met with an ‘overpowering stench of ammonia’ from urine and so much faeces that it was difficult to open one door to get to the animals.
Gary Mark Anderson, aged 30, of 49 Union Street, admitted that between March 16 and April 16 this year the dogs were in his home and that he, being responsible for Spirit, Sasquatch and Shantiei, all Husky-type female dogs the latter with five dependent pups, failed to take such steps as were reasonable in the circumstances to ensure the needs of the animals were met to the extent required by good practice; failing to provide a suitable living environment, and left the dogs in filthy living conditions, failed to provide a comfortable and clean resting area and appropriate drinking water and an adequate diet and failed to protect them from suffering.
A number of neighbours alerted the police because the dogs kept on barking. Officers went to the property but Anderson was not home.
‘Looking through the letter box they could see one dog in the hall and see the living room door closed with a rope,’ procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty told Sheriff Patrick Hughes. ‘There was a strong smell of ammonia.’
The amount and state of dog faeces showed the animals had been there for some time.
Anderson was traced and the Argyll and Bute Council dog warden and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) were contacted. When they entered the flat the full extent of the dogs’ condition was discovered.
On examination the bitch that had given birth was found to be emaciated, running a temperature, suffering an infection, diarrhoea and dermatitis.
Anderson told the police he was not the owner of the dogs; he was looking after them for someone.
The fiscal added: ‘When interviewed, he repeated he was not the owner and he said he felt the living conditions were suitable, and he fed the dogs regularly, and his position was that despite conditions in the house they had only been living in the house for a week.’
Anderson told the sheriff: ‘The dogs spent all their lives living in a Transit van. They were only taken out due to having the pups.’
Sheriff Patrick Hughes said anyone hearing the details would be shocked.
He ordered that Anderson undertake 200 hours of unpaid work in the community to be completed within 12 months. He also imposed a 10-year ban on Anderson preventing him from owning, keeping, working, using or taking charge of animals.