A woman from Clydebank has been handed a six-year ban on owning animals, 160 hours’ community service and an 18-month supervision order for causing unnecessary suffering to her dog following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
21-year-old Thea Anderson of Duncombe View, Clydebank, admitted to causing unnecessary suffering of her three-year-old mastiff cross dog, Lexi, by leaving her alone in a property with no access to food or water for a prolonged period. Lexi was severely emaciated and passed away.
Anderson also failed to seek veterinary treatment for Lexi at the end of her life which would have eased her immense suffering. The offence happened between 27 June and 27 July 2020. Anderson appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on 5 October 2021.
Lexi was found deceased locked in the hallway of Anderson’s home. An open bag of dog food was found in one of the cupboards which would have caused Lexi further mental anguish as she would have been able to smell the food. A post mortem showed that Lexi was a third of the weight she should have been, weighing only 11.2kg when she should have weighed over 30kg.
The examining vet concluded that Lexi would have either died of organ failure or dehydration. Either of these conditions would have caused her a slow and painful death.
Scottish SPCA inspector Gillian Dick said, “This is a really upsetting case. Lexi’s death was entirely avoidable if she had been given an adequate diet and water.
“When we first entered the address there was a strong smell of a decaying body and there were dog faeces on the floor behind the door. We saw Lexi at the end of the hall with a blanket partially covering her body. It was clear to us that someone had placed the blanket over Lexi.
“Lexi was completely emaciated. There was no fat covering on her body. She had been locked in the hallway and on inspecting the rest of the house it was cluttered and filthy. That was when I found the bag of dog food in the hallway cupboard. It was a big bag and only a third of the food was out of it. It’s so sad to think of Lexi being so close to this food while starving to death.
“We found items that confirmed someone had been in the property earlier in the day so Anderson was well aware of Lexi’s circumstance.
“Upon questioning, Anderson blamed Lexi’s death on a friend who was supposed to be looking after her. But Anderson admitted to seeing Lexi days before her death and there is absolutely no excuse for not taking her for immediate veterinary attention. Any responsible dog owner would have recognised Lexi’s need for urgent veterinary care.
“Lexi’s condition would have likely taken weeks or longer to reach. This resulted in Lexi’s organs failing, or dehydration, which caused her death.
“The level of pain and physical and mental suffering Lexi would have gone through at the end of her life would have been horrendous. Lexi was caused direct suffering because Anderson failed to provide her with food and the most basic of care.
“We are pleased that Anderson has been handed the ban owning animals.
“We hope Anderson thinks hard before taking care of any animals in the future once the ban is lifted.”
If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.