Five-year-ban for man who kept four dogs in 'appalling' conditions

Stephen McDonald denied his pets water on some of the hottest days of the year.

Scottish SPCA inquiry leads to five-year-ban for Aberdeenshire man for mistreating four dogs Google Maps

An Aberdeenshire man has been slapped with a five-year-ban for keeping his dogs in “appalling” conditions.

Stephen McDonald of Albert Place, Oldmedrum, was found to have denied his four dogs water on some of the hottest days of the year, alongside keeping them locked up in unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

The 37-year-old had previously pled guilty to failing to provide a suitable living environment for a female Labrador, a female lurcher and two cane corsos.

The Scottish SPCA responded to reports of a breach of an existing ban on owning or keeping dogs following his previous conviction, when they found the parched pups.

On inspecting the property, officers discovered a dirty kennel and run in his back garden. Two cane corsos were being kept in the urine-soaked run, with a build-up of several days worth of faeces.

There was on large bowl of food left which indicated that the dogs were left alone for long periods of time – alongside two empty water bowls, which indicated that they had no access to water.

Officers said that the visit was conducted on a day when the temperature was hitting 20 degrees celsius, and the previous day had been a scorching 28 degrees.

Scottish SPCA inspector Alexandra Campbell said: “Inside the run was a small, wooden kennel only adequate for one dog this size. There was a strong smell of ammonia from the enclosure.

“Whilst there we noticed noise coming from the garden shed. A gap of gnawed wood at the bottom of the shed door showed two dogs trying to get out.”

Upon further investigation, the officers discovered two more dogs – a female Labrador and a female lurcher.

Both were locked inside the shed without any ventilation or light, the floor was bedded with sawdust littered with several days’ worth of faeces and there was a strong smell of ammonia emanating from the shed.

Inspector Campbell continued: “There was only one empty metal dog bowl inside the shed which was completely empty. Neither of the dogs had access to food or water and, given the lack of ventilation or fresh air within the shed, this was a significant concern on a hot day.”

They also found several rusty nails protruding from the door above the chewed holes where the dogs had been trying to get out.

The four dogs were immediately removed from the property over concerns for their welfare, and taken to the Scottish SPCA’s animal rescue and rehoming centre.

When offered water, each dog finished their bowl – indicating that they were parched.

McDonald was given a five-year ban on owning dogs, a 12-month supervision order, and was also ordered to serve 120 hours of community service at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on June 29.

Inspector Campbell said: “All of the dogs involved went on to be rehomed and we’re glad they’ll now be receiving the proper care and attention they deserve.

“We’re pleased that McDonald received a ban on keeping dogs but given his ties to an individual already convicted of animal cruelty offences we are disappointed it’s not for a longer timeframe.

“He has clearly demonstrated a lack of ability to provide even the most basic of care, such as water, for his animals.

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

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