The Scottish SPCA has expressed disappointment after a man who allowed his dog to suffer from a chronic ear infection was admonished in court and not given a ban on keeping animals.
Kenneth Sime, 65, formerly of Morven Crescent, Findochty, appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court on Thursday (3 May).
Sime had previously pled guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his male German shepherd, named Sultan, by failing to provide necessary veterinary attention.
On visiting Sime's property in August 2011, an inspector from Scotland's animal welfare charity found the male dog suffering from a painful ear infection which had been left untreated.
Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Lesley Crockett said, "When I arrived at Sime's property Sultan was continually shaking his head and rubbing his ears on the carpet because Sime had failed to provide him with the vet treatment he desperately needed for his ear infection.
"His infection could have been easily treated when it first developed and there is no doubt that he was caused a great deal of pain and discomfort as a result of Sime's neglect.
"Following our investigation Sime has been convicted of causing an animal unnecessary suffering and now has a criminal record.
"We had recommended that a ban on keeping animals would be appropriate in this case, which is an option open to the courts under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and would have meant Sultan remained in our care to be rehomed.
"It is disappointing that no ban has been given and that the court's decision means that Sultan has to be returned to Sime despite the suffering he was caused and the hundreds of pounds of veterinary costs which had to be met by our charity."