Woman who abused and neglected 13 dogs walks free despite guilty plea

Raki Islam, 42, plead guilty to causing her dogs unnecessary suffering by having failed to provide adequate care.

East Lothian woman who abused and neglected 13 dogs walks free despite guilty plea ScotCourts

A woman from East Lothian has dodged punishment despite pleading guilty to abusing and neglecting 13 dogs.

Raki Islam, 42, plead guilty to causing her dogs unnecessary suffering by having failed to provide adequate care or veterinary attention.

She was admonished at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on May 2, but walked away without punishment.

A not guilty plea from her husband, 49-year-old Kevin Martin was accepted by the procurator fiscal.

Of the 13 dogs the couple kept in their backyard, seven were owned by Ms Islam.

These seven pets suffered from a number of conditions including demodectic mange, deep bacterial pyoderma, malassezia, pachy dermatitis, giardiasis, verminosis, a parasite burden, and severe bilateral conjunctivitis.

Scottish SPCA Inspector, Fiona Thorburn, said the charity had received multiple reports of animal cruelty at Ms Islam;s home in Prestonpans, as well as other properties in East and West Lothian over the years.

Every time officers from the SSPCA requested access to view and assess the dogs, they were refused.

The charity received another report in June 2021, which included videos of 13 dogs being kept in the rear garden of the High Street property – the garden appeared to be covered in faeces and had no adequate shelter.

“The videos were extremely concerning with seven of the dogs appearing to be underweight and virtually bald with very thickened skin,” Ms Thorburn said.

“With sufficient evidence a warrant was granted by the procurator fiscal, the property was attended along with Police Scotland and the local authority.”

Authorities forced entry into the home and found the 13 dogs in the garden, which was “heavily soiled” with diarrhoea, faeces and urine.

“There was not enough shelter provided for the number of dogs and the smell was overwhelming,” Ms Thorburn said.

“Several of the dogs were bald and suffering from very severe skin conditions. Their eyes and ears were also painful and infected with copious discharge, and some were underweight.

“All 13 of the dogs were removed and taken for immediate veterinary examination and treatment.”

Of these, seven puppies were found to have heavy mange burden, which usually only appears in animals with compromised immune systems, which caused chronic secondary infections.

“The puppies also had giardia, meaning they were both infected by, and actively shedding, the parasite causing severe diarrhoea. If left untreated this disease can be deadly,” Ms Thorburn said.

All 13 dogs took many months to fully recover, however have all now been rehomed.

The Scottish SPCA has criticised the decision to not sentence Islam, despite her guilty plea.

Ms Thorburn said: “We are extremely disappointed that Raki Islam has not been issued with a disqualification order from owning animals despite a guilty plea to the charge of causing her dogs to suffer unnecessarily.

“The condition that the dogs were found in should have led any reasonable owner to seek urgent veterinary treatment.

“We feel saddened that despite the time and effort we have taken putting together a case where Islam has been charged, she has only been admonished.

“We believe this decision will likely result in more dogs suffering unnecessarily in the future.

“If anyone has concerns about an animal they should call our confidential helpline on 03000 999 999.”

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