Man left dog alone in his flat for weekend without food or water
A MAYBOLE man left his pet dog alone in his flat while he spent the weekend in Ayr, a court has heard.
A neighbour contacted police after hearing Stuart Grant’s dog “howling and crying” at the flat in the town’s Kirkland Street.
When officers forced entry to the flat they discovered the dog, named Charlie, alone in the property, with no food or water and with urine and faeces on the floor.
But a judge allowed Grant to keep his pet after being told that the dog “is his life”.
Ayr Sheriff Court was told that the neighbour – who was unaware Grant had left the property – contacted police because they were concerned Grant might have died.
Grant, 49, appeared in court for sentencing last week after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to care for his pet without reasonable excuse after leaving Charlie on his own in the flat between December 9 and 11 last year.
The procurator fiscal depute said: “The locus was the home address of the accused – the top floor flat of a block of six. He was living there with his dog Charlie.
“The witness was residing in the same block living adjacent.
The accused left on the Friday night, December 9.”
The prosecutor described how the neighbour heard the dog ‘howling and crying’ – something the witness described as “extremely unusual”.
The fiscal continued: “Throughout the weekend, the witness went to the dog, placing treats and snacks through the letterbox.
“She could hear the dog running back and forth in the locus. She repeatedly shouted for the accused but received no answer and this continued.
“On the morning of December 11 police were phoned, arriving at 10.20am. They thereafter forced entry and the dog Charlie was found alone within the flat.
“The flat was in a state of disarray with urine and faeces on the floor, no access to water or food.”
Grant then arrived at the property to discover the door had been kicked in. He told police he had been in Ayr since the Friday and had missed his bus home.
“He made no comment to caution or charge but did apologise,” the fiscal added.
“I should say it was reported by officers the dog appeared healthy and a good weight.
“The SSPCA were not contacted as the dog appeared well.
“There was no concern from neighbours, who stated they were not aware this had ever happened before, and said [Grant] ‘always puts the dog before himself ’.”
Defence solicitor Steven Maxwell told sheriff Desmond Leslie: “I would ask you not to disqualify him from owning a dog.
“While the behaviour to his best friend over the weekend was wholly unacceptable, this dog is his life.
“The reason police were contacted is that it was thought Mr Grant may have died in the flat. He generally made arrangements for the neighbour to look after the dog. For reasons now lost, he ended up staying in Ayr, returning on the Sunday.
“There have been no further difficulties. He made a mistake over the weekend, but the dog suffered little under the circumstances.”
The sheriff asked Grant whether this would happen again to which Grant replied: “No.”
The court heard Charlie was six years old at the time and that Grant had looked after him since he was 10 weeks old.
Sentence was deferred for six months for good behaviour.