A woman who neglected her dog then dumped it in a bin to die in an act described as “unthinkably cruel” was today banned for life from keeping animals.
But Heather Stott avoided a jail term after letting pointer crossbreed named Dougal go without care or treatment for emaciation, dehydration and dental disease for almost a month last year.
She then went on to dump the dog in a commercial wheelie bin in Dundee’s Dondonald Street – yards from her home – on April 14 2016.
The dog was found by a member of the public alive – but severely malnourished and unable to stand.
They called in the Scottish SPCA, who say their inspector found Dougal partially inside a black bag.
He was immediately taken to a vet who decided the only humane option was to put him down.
The charity described the crime as “despicable” and “unthinkably cruel”.
Stott’s solicitor claimed she thought the dog was already dead when she dumped it.
Stott, 58, of Court Street, Dundee, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to two charges under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act.
She admitted that between March 19 and April 15 last year at her home and elsewhere she being responsible for the dog caused it unnecessary suffering by failing to provide him with adequate care and treatment as he suffered from emaciation, dehydration and dental disease.
Stott further admitted that on April 14 and 15 last year at Dundonald Street and Wolsley Street, Dundee, she abandoned Dougal in such circumstances that were likely to cause unnecessary suffering and abandoned him in an industrial waste bin without access to nutrition and water and with no means of escape.
Her sister, Norma Stott, 71, also of Court Street, Dundee, earlier had her not guilty plea accepted by the Crown.
Fiscal depute Trina Sinclair said Stott had no previous convictions.
Defence solicitor Theo Finlay said: “She effectively inherited this dog from her son around four years ago.
“The dog was 16 or 17 years old.
“Ultimately it was put in this bin.
“She was disposing of what she thought was the corpse.
“The dog had developed an obstruction – a benign mass – that was preventing it from getting nutrition and it had renal problems leaving it dehydrated.
“She thought it had died.
“She has shown increasing remorse.
“She lives with her aging sister who has limited capacity and she has been distracted and allowed this to continue for a period of time.”
Sheriff George Way imposed a disqualification order banning Stott from owning or keeping animals indefinitely.
He also placed her on a community payback order with 80 hours unpaid work.
The sheriff said: “I’m sure she didn’t really intend this to happen in the way it did.
“By the same token, if you have a dog under your care I can’t send out a message that it is acceptable.”
Speaking after Dougal was found, Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector John Carle said a local inspector had had to climb into the metal bin to rescue the animal.
He said: “The dog was found at the bottom of a large metal bin, which our local inspector had to climb into in order to rescue him.
“We think it’s possible he was put into the bin late on Thursday night or in the early hours of Friday morning when it was dark.
“He was wearing a black nylon collar and had a black bag wrapped around his body from his waist down but we don’t know if he was fully inside the bag when he was dumped.
“The dog was estimated to be between 10 and 12 years old so we have to consider that he may have been abandoned due to his age, which is unthinkably cruel.
“This poor dog would have been absolutely terrified and was suffering a great deal when he was found.”