May 2022

Dog put down and cruel owner given animal ban after ‘worst’ ear infection vet had seen

A dog has been put to sleep after its owner allowed it to suffer for months with the “worst” ear infection a vet had ever seen.

Inspectors attended the property of Yvonne Williams in Cumbernauld’s Millcroft Road on multiple occasions since 2017 due to complaints about animal neglect.

In March 2021, they rushed Williams’ three-year-old mastiff cross Aria to the vet as she was in extreme pain and distress and clawing at her ear.

Williams, 50, pleaded guilty to failing to provide veterinary treatment or pain at Airdrie Sheriff Court on March 29, 2022.

She also pleaded guilty to failing to protect her two cats, Ginger and Bandit, from suffering, injury and disease, as inspectors noted that the cats had fleas.

Scottish SPCA chief inspector, John Chisholm, said, “On March 31, 2021, we attended Williams’ property in response to a complaint of dog neglect made to our helpline.

“It was reported that Aria had a swollen, bleeding ear and had not received any veterinary treatment.

“Further concerns were raised about the living conditions within the property and that a number of cats had fleas.

“We have received a number of complaints regarding animals at the property, dating back to 2017. Advice and subsequent follow-up visits have been given to Williams over the last four years.

“In 2019 we agreed to take one of her dogs into our care as she could not cope with two big dogs. Williams was strongly advised not to take on any more animals.”

Aria’s ear has become very swollen, was completely blocked inside and the infection had caused irreversible damage to her ear canal.

The decision was made to put her down.

John added: “When we visited the property in 2020 we were immediately concerned for Aria’s welfare as she was obviously suffering from a painful ear condition.

“Williams was issued an animal welfare notice to take Aria for vet treatment with which she complied. She was also advised to follow all veterinary treatment plans to which she agreed.

“At the most recent visit it was confirmed that Aria was again suffering with her ears, and Williams had not taken her to the vets since March 2020.

“Aria was visibly distressed and constantly clawing and scratching at both ears. Her left ear in particular was swollen and solid to the touch. The inside of the ear appeared to be completely blocked with thickened skin.

“Aria was taken for immediate veterinary attention. The vet described her condition as the worst ear condition they had seen in their career, confirming that Aria had experienced prolonged unnecessary suffering over a number of months.

“Due to the severity of Aria’s ear condition and the irreversible nature of the damage to her ear canals, she was put to sleep on veterinary advice to end her suffering.”

It was also discovered that Williams had taken on two more cats, despite being advised not to, and they required serious medication attention.

John said: “Williams was uncooperative in relation to her cats and it became apparent that she now had four cats, despite being advised not to take on any more animals.

“Williams eventually agreed to hand over her cats for examination, but would not allow entry into the property to inspect living conditions.

“Ginger and Bandit were taken to one of our centres and both were found to be suffering from heavy flea infestations and needed dental surgery to fix dental disease and inflamed gums. Both cats were also underweight.

“They have now received the treatment they need, but have remained in our care as Williams refused to sign them over meaning we were not able to rehome them.”

Yvonne Williams has been slapped with a five-year animal ban and a community order.

John added: “We are pleased Williams has pled guilty and received a five-year ban and community payback order. Now that the case has concluded we will finally be able to find Ginger and Bandit the loving homes they deserve.

“Aria was caused a seriously unnecessary amount of suffering and distress despite continued advice. Her condition could have been completely treatable had Williams provided her with the care she needed.