A man from Fife has been handed a £400 fine after a dog was found locked in a kitchen for four days alongside faeces, litter and mould.
Scottish SPCA officers visited Michael Stobbs at Hilton View, Lumphinnans, after receiving calls that a dog had been left alone for a number of days.
They discovered Akita cross Samson locked in a kitchen surrounded by hazardous items such as cutlery, potato peelings, old food containers, cans and mouldy milk cartons, alongside faeces on the floor and kitchen units.
The dog was described as “friendly” despite being underweight with infected skin, eyes and ears.
Stobbs, 34, pled guilty to leaving the dog unattended in an unsanitary and hazardous environment for four days without making provisions for his welfare.
He was sentenced at Dunfermline Sheriff Court to pay a £400 fine and a £20 victim surcharge on January 25.
SPCA inspector, Nicola Liddell, said, “On February 10, 2021, we attended Mr Stobbs’ property in response to calls to our helpline about a dog that had been left alone in the property for a number of days.
“On knocking hard at the door a muffled bark was heard indicating the dog was shut away in another room. Stobbs wasn’t home but returned to the property shortly after our arrival.
“Stobbs freely admitted to having left Samson unattended for four days, blaming the weather conditions for preventing him from tending to his dog.
“Samson was locked in the kitchen and the door was secured shut with a screwdriver jammed into the door surround which Stobbs used a hammer to remove.
“Samson was very friendly in nature and was delighted to see us. He was obviously underweight with his ribs and hips easily seen from a distance. His skin was very itchy and infected over his back with noticeable hair loss.
“Both eyes were leaking a yellow discharge and both inner ears appeared tender and infected. Samson’s claws were also very overgrown and were beginning to displace the alignment of his toes.
“The kitchen was strewn with litter and hazardous items such as cutlery, potato peelings, old food containers, cans and mouldy milk cartons. There were faeces on the floor and up the kitchen units.
“There were no dog bowls, just empty plastic food containers. When given water, Samson drank thirstily. Stobbs also gave him a small amount of food which he ate ravenously. Even though he was so thirsty and hungry, Samson sat and waited until he was told to take it.
“We took Samson to be examined by a vet who found no underlying health problems that could explain his low body weight.
“During his ear examination, Samson howled in pain. The chronic eye infections will also have caused him considerable discomfort and irritation for a minimum of three to four weeks but likely much longer.
“Samson was then taken to one of our animal rescue and rehoming centres to receive the care and veterinary treatment he needed.
“Despite numerous attempts to contact Stobbs to arrange an interview, we received no response nor has he contacted us to check how Samson is doing.
“Thankfully, Samson responded well to medication for his skin, eyes and ears, and he also gained weight. No special or veterinary diets were necessary to improve his body condition.
“We are disappointed that Stobbs only received a £400 fine this occasion as we do not feel this reflects the suffering caused to Samson.
“We hope he will be more conscientious in future about ensuring any animal he owns receives the appropriate care and veterinary treatment they require.
“If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
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