A woman who let her dog starve to death has been banned from owning animals.
Thea Anderson left her Mastiff-cross, Lexi, alone for a month between June 27 and July 27, in 2020, with no access to food or water.
Three-year-old Lexi was found dead locked in the hallway of the 21-year-old’s home in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, with a blanket over her.
A post mortem examination showed the dog was a third of the weight she should have been, weighing only 11.2kg when she should have weighed more than 30kg.
The vet ruled she died either from dehydration or organ failure, both of which would have been slow and painful.
An open bag of dog food was found in one of the cupboards which would have caused Lexi further mental anguish as she would have been able to smell the food, according to animal welfare chiefs.
Anderson appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Tuesday and was given a six-year ban on owning animals.
She was also handed 160 hours’ community service and an 18-month supervision order for causing unnecessary suffering to her dog following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
Scottish SPCA inspector Gillian Dick said: “This is a really upsetting case. Lexi’s death was entirely avoidable if she had been given an adequate diet and water.
“When we first entered the address there was a strong smell of a decaying body and there were dog faeces on the floor behind the door.
“We saw Lexi at the end of the hall with a blanket partially covering her body.
“It was clear to us that someone had placed the blanket over Lexi.
“Lexi was completely emaciated.
“There was no fat covering on her body. She had been locked in the hallway and on inspecting the rest of the house it was cluttered and filthy.
“That was when I found the bag of dog food in the hallway cupboard.
“It was a big bag and only a third of the food was out of it. It’s so sad to think of Lexi being so close to this food while starving to death.
“We found items that confirmed someone had been in the property earlier in the day so Anderson was well aware of Lexi’s circumstance.
“Upon questioning, Anderson blamed Lexi’s death on a friend who was supposed to be looking after her.
“But Anderson admitted to seeing Lexi days before her death and there is absolutely no excuse for not taking her for immediate veterinary attention.
“Any responsible dog owner would have recognised Lexi’s need for urgent veterinary care.
“Lexi’s condition would have likely taken weeks or longer to reach.
“This resulted in Lexi’s organs failing, or dehydration, which caused her death.
“The level of pain and physical and mental suffering Lexi would have gone through at the end of her life would have been horrendous.
“Lexi was caused direct suffering because Anderson failed to provide her with food and the most basic of care.
“We are pleased that Anderson has been handed the ban owning animals.
“We hope Anderson thinks hard before taking care of any animals in the future once the ban is lifted.”