Court: Elgin woman receives 10-year ban from keeping animals

An Elgin woman has been banned for ten years from keeping animals following an investigation by the Scottish SPCA.

Samantha Little, 22, whose address was given as 18b Covesea Road, was sentenced at Elgin Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Little pled guilty to omitting to provide the necessary food and vet attention for a three-year-old male crossbreed dog named Hamish, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

She also admitted to failing to ensure the welfare of the dog at her former home at Forbes Court in Elgin, providing a suitable environment, suitable diet and protection from suffering, injury and disease.

Little was sentenced to a 10 year ban on keeping animals and given a 100 hours community pay back order to be served over the next three months.

Commenting on the investigation and court case, Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Lesley Crockett said: “When I first visited Little’s flat Hamish’s dead body was lying on the landing. He was clearly very underweight and there was faeces surrounding him.

“There was no food or water evident, only dry empty bowls in the kitchen and chewed packets of painkillers in the lounge.

“On veterinary examination Hamish weighed just 8kg, nearly half the ideal weight for a dog his size. He was emaciated and had a body score of zero out of five. His eyes were completely sunken within his skull and it was clear his muscle was wasting.

“Hamish was suffering from gastric ulceration which may have been caused by him ingesting the painkillers.

“The vet concluded Hamish died of starvation and that he hadn’t eaten for some time prior to his death.

“Little failed to seek help in looking after or re-homing Hamish. Had she done so this tragic situation could have been prevented.

“We welcome the ban given to Little as, in our opinion, Hamish need not have suffered if the correct diet and vet care been provided at an earlier stage.”

Earlier Elgin Sheriff Court had heard that the dog had eaten poisonous painkillers and a post-mortem had revealed the cause of death was starvation combined with ibuprofen toxicity.

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