A dog owner, whose pet was found in an emaciated state in a filthy house, has been jailed for five months.
A sheriff told Michael Harris that the condition that the starving dog, Milo, was found in was “disgraceful”.
The animal, whose bones were showing through its skin, was kept in a cage surrounded by squalor.
Michael Harris, 24, of North Drum Street, Kelty, appeared for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Wednesday.
He previously admitted that on 11th April at Leny Place, Dunfermline, North Drum Street, Kelty and elsewhere, being responsible for a dog, he failed to take steps to ensure the needs of the animal were met by failing to provide a suitable environment.
He failed to provide adequate drinking water and food, exposed the dog to faeces, urine, household waste and debris including a broken mirror and controlled substance paraphernalia.
He also failed to provide adequate exercise and adequate care and treatment for the dog’s coat.
Harris had given Milo to a friend who also had a dog to look after him and the dog was kept in squalor at that house.
Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia said the police had been called to the premises in Leny Place in connection with another matter.
They entered by removing a door panel and as the officers entered, Milo and the other dog ran out.
“One of the officers, a police sergeant said in his statement that on looking around it was without doubt one of the worst premises he’d seen in almost 20 years in his job,” Mr Kapadia told the court.
“The stench was overpowering and the front door had to be kept ajar to allow in fresh air and for the flies to get out,” added the depute.
Officers recaptured the dogs and put them in the living room, which was full of black bags full of discarded food and drink containers which “looked like they had been there for months”.
The depute went on, “The dog was severely malnourished and its bones were showing through its skin.”
The SSPCA were asked to attend the premises to look after the dogs. One of the officers said she had previously seen the animals and they had been in good body condition at that time.
“She said there had been an astounding deterioration of the dogs and their living conditions,” Mr Kapadia continued.
“When the dogs were released from their cage for the SSPCA inspector to look at them they immediately dived towards the bin bags scavenging for food.”
Asked by police about the dog’s condition, Harris admitted it was “poor”.
He said, “I cut the food and it was too low. It wasn’t fair to the dog.”
Asked about the filthy conditions, he blamed the police for causing the mess when they entered the house.
Defence solicitor Martin McGuire said his client had since signed the dog over into the care of the SSPCA.
“He recognises his failings in relation to the care of the dog. Mr Harris allowed him to look after Milo and that was a scenario she not allowed to happen,” said Mr McGuire.
He said the householder at Leny Place was “long-time friend” of his client.
Sheriff Craig McSherry said, “To suggest that the filthy state of this property was down to the police is absolutely ridiculous.
“These were appalling conditions and the state of emaciation of the dog is disgraceful.”
He jailed Harris for five months and disqualified him from having care of any animal for five years.