July 2022

Couple avoid prison following animal cruelty

A couple from Airdire have been handed a fine and supervision order following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

39-year-old Brian Smith of Chapelhall, Airdire pled guilty to failing to provide a nutritionally adequate diet for his golden Labrador, Luna.

34-year-old Patricia O’Donnell of Cairnhill, Airdrie, pled guilty to failing to provide veterinary treatment to her elderly dog, Millie.

O’Donnell received a £250 fine, while Smith received a 12-month supervision order and 75 hours unpaid work.

Scottish SPCA chief inspector, John Chisholm, said, “We attended the property in April 2021 following complaints to our animal helpline of dog neglect.

“The reports described a Labrador cross type dog at the property who was extremely underweight and would often cower away.

The dog was described by one caller as ‘skin and bone’ with their back end protruding.

“O’Donnell explained that her Labrador cross, Luna, was a Romanian rescue and they were working hard to get her to a healthy weight.

“Upon seeing Luna we were immediately concerned as she was severely emaciated, with her hips, spine and ribs prominently protruding.

“O’Donnell claimed that Luna had been seen by a vet and they had been given dietary advice. However, she could not recall any information regarding this. She also changed her story around this multiple times.

“Concern grew for Luna’s welfare and O’Donnell was cautioned. She admitted to owning one other dog, Millie.

“Millie was scruffy in appearance and had areas of matted and tangled fur to her underside and around her ears.

“O’Donnell became increasingly agitated and angry that her animals were being taken for veterinary care.

“Upon veterinary examination it was found that Luna would have been caused an unnecessary amount of suffering due to her poor body condition, and appropriate medical attention not being sought.

“Millie’s body condition was found to be less than ideal, and she was found to be suffering from a bilateral ear disease and dental issues.

“Concern grew for Millie’s ears and she was given a general anaesthetic in order to examine them fully.

“Once a large volume of thick black wax was removed, the procedure revealed Millie’s ears were full of tumours. Veterinary professionals advised her prognosis for recovery was poor, but she could be made comfortable with medication for the time being. She had not been treated for this previously, and was undoubtedly caused suffering.

“Luna gained 2kg in weight in her first seven days at one of our animal rescue and rehoming centres.

“It is extremely disappointing that considering the amount of suffering that was caused to Millie and Luna, a harsher sentencing was not given.

“O’Donnell and Smith have clearly shown that they were not able to provide their animals with the care they needed, and we would have hoped this to be reflected in a ban on owning or keeping animals.

** Pictures of Luna are of her before and after…