A Moray woman has been banned from owning and caring for animals for five years after she failed to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary attention for her nine-month-old German shepherd.
Scottish SPCA inspectors received a concerned call on November 16 2021 after a dead dog was found in an emaciated condition that had been brought into a veterinary surgery in Buckie.
The animal welfare charity sent senior inspector Lesley Crockett to the surgery where she said the dog was in an “emaciated condition” and “could feel all his ribs and pelvic bones”.
She said: “He was one of the thinnest dogs I have seen. His eyes were sunken into his head and there was reddish staining on his paws.”
The dog was discovered to be named Berlin and was owned by Natalia Piszcyk.
The inspector added: “On November 17 2021 I visited Berlin’s owner’s address but there was no reply so I left a card asking the owner, Natalia Piszczyk, to get in touch.
“I contacted her by email on November 29 2021 to arrange an interview under caution about Berlin due to concerns over his poor condition. Arrangements were made by email to meet on December 14 2021 at the premises.”
The final post-mortem concluded that Berlin died from inhalation pneumonia, and that the respiratory disease that the dog was suffering from would have been obvious to the person caring for him and that veterinary advice should have been sought.
The pneumonia is likely to have been present for at least 48 hours and possibly several days.
The condition is severe enough that the dog would have shown clinical signs of respiratory compromise.
Scottish SPCA investigators met Piszczyk at her property on December 14 that year and said that the “property smelt strongly of dog urine and faeces and the carpet in the living room was visibly badly stained”.
Ms Crockett added: “The accused stated that sometimes Berlin didn’t eat his food so she soaked it with water but she did not see anything wrong with him.
“Berlin was subjected to unnecessary suffering and his subsequent respiratory failure caused him pain and distress that ultimately led to his death.”
Piszczyk, 20, of Cairnie Place, Buckie pled guilty to the charge of failure to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary attention for her nine-month-old German shepherd dog, Berlin at Elgin Sheriff Court on June 20 2023.
She was handed an interim disqualification order on owning or caring for any animals and was sentenced at the same court on July 20 and 90 hours of unpaid work to be completed within six months.
Ms Crockett said: “We are pleased that Piszczyk received a ban, however, given the suffering Berlin endured we would have liked it to be for a longer period of time. We hope she seriously considers her ability to look after any animal in the future.
“If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”