Dog walker jailed after Mastiff and puppies found in faeces-ridden flat

Four of the six puppies had to be put down after being discovered in squalid conditions at Shaun McCourt's flat in Aberdeen.

Dog walker Shaun McCourt jailed after Mastiff and puppies found in faeces-ridden flat in Aberdeen COPFS

A part-time dog walker has been jailed for five months after a dog and six puppies – four of which had to be put down – were discovered living in squalor in a faeces-ridden flat.

One puppy was found to have a broken jaw, and another was suffering from two healing leg fractures where the bones had moved out of alignment and caused deformity. 

The puppies’ mother’s hind legs were coated in dried faeces while her ribs, spine and hips were prominent.  

Shaun McCourt, 42, was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after admitting five charges of animal neglect between April and September 2019.  

Alison McKenzie, Procurator Fiscal for Aberdeen, said: “This was a shocking case of animal cruelty. 

“The pain and mental suffering these dogs endured while in Shaun McCourt’s care is unthinkable.  

“These poor animals suffered the terrible consequences of McCourt’s appalling neglect.  

“The law protects animals from harm and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) will continue to work robustly to ensure anyone who breaks the law faces prosecutorial action.”  

Shaun McCourt's home was found to be covered in faeces COPFS

The court heard how in September 2019, Police Scotland contacted the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after a female dog, a Mastiff, and her six, five-month-old puppies – all Mastiff crosses – were found inside an Aberdeen flat in a neglected state. 

The flat, which reeked of ammonia, was being leased by McCourt, of Liverpool, from a former partner. 

Inside, SSPCA inspectors discovered a single wooden pen in the living room which contained soiled bedding and puppy training pads.  

The adult dog was in a bedroom, and it was immediately obvious that she was very thin, and her ribs were visible. There was dry dog food and faeces all over the floor.  

The bathroom floor was flooded with a wet substance and dry dog food was lying on the kitchen floor. 

The officers who conducted checks on the puppies concluded that one had been suffering from a broken jaw – possibly caused by rough play with the other puppies – for at least eight weeks.  The puppy had to be euthanised immediately on welfare grounds. 

The court heard that another puppy had swelling to its jaw, head and legs, a fractured upper incisor tooth and inflamed and infected dental area with fragments of fragmented teeth embedded in the gum.  

The puppy was given appropriate treatment at the time but was subsequently put down due to chronic pain relating to its injuries.  

The veterinary surgeon who examined the dogs said that in her 26 years of working as a vet she had never seen puppies in such awful bodily condition. 

Altogether, four puppies had to be euthanised while the remaining two were rehomed. 

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code