Owner of dogs that 'could have died' after bloody fight handed ban

James Miller's dogs Blue and Cyrus were found covered in infected wounds as well as historic injuries and scars.

Owner of dogs that ‘could have died’ after bloody fight in Peterhead handed ten-year ban on owning animals Scottish SPCA

The owner of two dogs who were found with infected wounds after a bloody fight has been handed a ten-year ban on owning animals.

James Miller, 46, of Slains Court in Peterhead pled guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary treatment for his dogs, Cyrus and Blue, on November 21 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Scottish SPCA officers were called to Miller’s property on April 13, 2022, to reports that his dogs had become injured while fighting.

Once they entered the building, they found blood smeared up the stairs towards Miller’s front door, on the landing and along the walls.

Inside the flat, there were “a lot” of blood smears on the hallway walls.

“Miller informed us that the dogs had a fight the previous Saturday night, that the dogs had been kept separate since and that the injuries were not that bad,” said inspector Fiona McKenzie.

“On inspection, it was immediately obvious that Cyrus had severe injuries to the left side of his face.

“The wounds on his head, ear and eye looked extremely sore and had a yellow discharge consistent with infection. The room Cyrus had been kept in had a lot of blood smeared on the walls and a small amount of dog faeces.”

Miller’s second dog, Blue, also had a wound on the left side of his face – it appeared to be older, as the skin was swollen and thickened with a yellow infected crust.

He told inspectors that he had not sought veterinary treatment for either dog, and both Blue and Cyrus were immediately taken away and treated.

“Cyrus’ left ear canal was so badly swollen than it could not be examined,” Ms McKenzie said.

“The vet discovered signs of infection and scars around his right ear as well multiple broken teeth, suggesting historical injuries.

“He also had evidence of mild dermatitis in his armpits, groin and between his toes which hadn’t been treated.

“The wounds on Blue’s cheek had become thickened and infected and one of his claws was swollen and infected. One of his legs were scarred and swollen, consistent with bites from another dog.

“Both dogs needed weeks of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories as well as daily cleaning.”

Miller was handed a 100-hour community payback order and a ten-year ban on owning, keeping or working with dogs after he plead guilty.

Ms McKenzie said: “The older scars suggest that this was not an isolated incident.

“Without treatment, both dogs could have died as a result of the infection. Due to the depth and extent of their injuries, Blue and Cyrus would have.”

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