A Fife man who admitted failing to get medical treatment for his German Shepherd puppy, which later died because of an infected jaw, has been warned he is facing jail.
Sean Burns appeared for sentencing at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court after previously admitting causing unnecessary suffering to the nine-month-old dog called Lexi.
The 27-year-old’s defence solicitor Christine Hagan told the court he was now in a position to pay a financial penalty after starting work as a labourer.
But Sheriff James Williamson refused to accept the offer and warned the case was serious enough for Burns to be sent to prison.
Burns is currently on a community payback order, which requires him to perform 200 hours of unpaid work, after being caught with a can of pepper spray in 2017.
The sheriff told Burns, of Valley Gardens South, that he must complete enough hours on the current order before he will decide how best to sentence him.
The maximum number of unpaid work hours a person can be given is 300.
Sheriff Williamson said: “I have come to the conclusion that this is a matter for which he may face a custodial sentence.
“I would be prepared to allow him the opportunity to do unpaid work but not 100 hours – that’s no more than a level one community payback order.
“I would suggest deferring sentence until November 13 to see how many hours of unpaid work he can complete on his current order before I decide what to do with this case.”
The court was previously told how Burns had taken Lexi to the vet for a cut on her jaw on August 22 2017 but failed to seek follow up treatment due to “financial difficulties”.
The critically ill pup was left with his neighbours while he socialised in Edinburgh on September 9.
Despite receiving phone calls telling him about his dog’s failing health, Burns instructed his neighbours not to seek veterinary treatment.
The puppy passed away in the early hours of September 10.
Burns, who is currently banned from owning animals, will appear for sentencing on November 13.