A Barrhead woman has been handed a 30-year ban on owning or keeping animals and a £540 fine following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
51-year-old Lorraine Ferguson, of Firbank Terrace, Barrhead pled guilty to failing to seek veterinary treatment for her 16-year-old collie cross Staffordshire bull terrier, Tye. She was sentenced on 6 June at Paisley Sherriff Court.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector Laura McIntyre said, “On 24 February a Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer was called to a report of a stray dog on marshland behind Barrhead High School.
“On attending the incident the animal rescue officer immediately contacted local inspector Sian Robertson due to the condition the animal was in.
“The dog was lying next to a burn and had to be carried back to the van as she would not stand. She had a large, bleeding mass dangling from her vulva, which was impeding her ability to walk and clearly causing her a lot of discomfort.
“We took the dog to a local veterinary surgery for immediate pain relief and then transported her on to our Glasgow Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre for further care and veterinary treatment.
“On examination by our vets it was clear even at a distance there was a very large, pendulous mass hanging between her back legs, the surface of which was visibly raw and dripping fluid. This mass was attached to the dog’s vulva and swung when she moved, bumping off both of her hind legs, giving her an awkward, stilted gait. It was clearly uncomfortable for her to move and she opted to lie down most of the time unless encouraged to get up.
“The dog also had several other tumours, which were visible and palpable when close to her and should have been easily noticed by any reasonable owner. Given the size of the tumours, our vet estimated they were likely to have been present for at least six months for the smaller tumours and at least a year, although possibly significantly longer, for the largest tumour.
“In addition, the dog had age-related changes to her eyes and marked dental disease with inflamed gums, thick tartar and worn teeth.
“Later the same day, a member of the public called our helpline to advise the dog, Tye, had gone missing during the night. The description given matched the dog we’d found earlier that day and the location where the dog was found was only roughly a 12-minute walk away from Ferguson’s home address.
“When we attended the property, Ferguson claimed Tye had recently been taken to the vet by a neighbour for treatment for ‘a fatty lump’. However, she could not provide any details of the appointment, which veterinary practice she was taken to, or even the name of the neighbour. When we checked with the nearest veterinary practice they had no record of Tye ever being registered there.
“We later discovered Tye had been found straying previously by a neighbour who recognised her need for veterinary treatment and took her to a vet to be scanned for a microchip. It took Ferguson two days to collect Tye from her neighbour’s property after she was contacted.
“The neighbour advised Ferguson that the dog needed to be seen by a vet but it appears no attempt was made by Ferguson to arrange this.
“Ferguson was given several opportunities to be interviewed under caution to explain her circumstances and provide evidence of Tye receiving veterinary treatment but she ignored our subsequent attempts to contact her.
“Sadly, due to the advanced nature of the tumours, Tye’s prognosis for recovery was poor and she was put to sleep on welfare grounds to end her suffering.
“We are pleased that Ferguson has received a lengthy ban. This was a shocking case where the animal involved suffered a great deal completely unnecessarily.
“If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”