Man handed animal ban after abandoning eight Guinea pigs for days

The Scottish SPCA managed to rescue one Guinea pig from Robert Stewart Dyer Sheppard's property.

Drumchapel man banned from keeping animals after abandoning eight Guinea pigs without food or water SSPCA

A man has been banned from keeping animals after cruelty towards eight Guinea pigs in Glasgow.

Robert Stewart Dyer Sheppard admitted failing to provide food and water for the eight animals, who were left alone without care for ten days.

The animals were discovered by the Scottish SPCA at Linkwood Crescent in Drumchapel in April last year.

Seven of them were dead while a surviving female, named Ollie, was emaciated.

Sheppard, 45, pled guilty to the charges before Glasgow Sheriff Court in February and was sentenced on March 29.

He was handed a two-year ban on owning or keeping animals and a 75-day Restriction of Liberty Order.

SSPCA officers received reports of concern for the animals on April 18 last year.

The animal welfare organisation contacted the local council to gain access to the property and were informed that Sheppard had moved out on April 8.

A council employee attended the property to change the locks and discovered a number of dead Guinea pigs on the veranda area.

When welfare officers attended, the bodies of six Guinea pigs were discovered surrounded by a large amount of the animal faeces.

There were two empty bowls and an empty cake tin on the floor with no food and water present.

Two other Guinea pigs were found trapped inside a plastic cage on top of a hutch with no way to get out. One of the animals inside was dead.

The survivor, who has been named Ollie, was rescued and put inside a clean pet carrier.

She was taken to a rescue centre for veterinary treatment and was found to be underweight, but bright and alert.

Under the care of the SSPCA she managed to regain weight and has found a loving new home.

Scottish SPCA chief inspector Jennifer Connolly: “We sought a veterinary opinion on how the other seven Guinea pigs died and it is estimated they succumbed to dehydration.

“It’s estimated it would take somewhere between three and five days for a Guinea pig to die of dehydration or over a week to die of starvation assuming water was available.

“Given the timescales of when Sheppard vacated the property we assume there must have been a supply of food and water left initially. However, these resources would not have been evenly shared between the animals and the weaker animals would have passed away more quickly.”

She added: “We are pleased that Sheppard received a ban but, given the level of neglect these animals were subjected to, we would have liked for it to have been for a longer period of time.

“Any reasonable owner would not leave their animals unsupervised like this for such an extended period of time and would ensure that someone trustworthy and reliable was responsible for tending to them.

“If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

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