A woman from East Lothian has not been given a sentence despite pleading guilty to having caused her dogs unnecessary suffering by having failed to provide adequate care or veterinary attention.
42-year-old Raki Islam of High Street, Prestonpans, East Lothian owned seven dogs suffering from a number of health conditions including demodectic mange, deep bacterial pyoderma, malassezia, pachy dermatitis, giardiasis, verminosis, a parasite burden, and severe bilateral conjunctivitis.
Islam was admonished at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 2 May 2023. A not guilty plea from her husband, 49-year-old Kevin Martin was accepted by the procurator fiscal.
Scottish SPCA Inspector, Fiona Thorburn, said, “We have received multiple reports to our animal helpline dating back many years, with concerns about living conditions and animal cruelty and neglect at both the locus in Prestonpans and other properties in East and West Lothian.
“We received ongoing calls to our Animal Helpline regarding dogs being kept in unsuitable conditions at the rear garden of the property on High Street. Access to view and assess the dogs was however always refused.
“In June 2021 a report was made to our helpline and videos sent to us of 13 dogs being kept in the rear garden of the property on High Street which was covered in faeces and had no adequate shelter.
“The videos were extremely concerning with seven of the dogs appearing to be underweight and virtually bald with very thickened skin.
“With sufficient evidence a warrant was granted by the procurator fiscal, the property was attended along with Police Scotland and the local authority.
“Entry to the property was forced and the 13 dogs were found in the garden which was heavily soiled with diarrhoea, faeces and urine. There was not enough shelter provided for the number of dogs and the smell was overwhelming.
“Several of the dogs were bald and suffering from very severe skin conditions. Their eyes and ears were also painful and infected with copious discharge, and some were underweight.
“All 13 of the dogs were removed and taken for immediate veterinary examination and treatment.
“Seven puppies were found to have a heavy mange burden, which is usually only evident in animals with compromised immune systems. They had chronic secondary infections because of this which affected their skin, ears, eyes, feet and genitals, causing pain and irritation.
“The puppies also had giardia, meaning they were both infected by, and actively shedding, the parasite causing severe diarrhoea. If left untreated this disease can be deadly.
“We are extremely disappointed that Raki Islam has not been issued with a disqualification order from owning animals despite a guilty plea to the charge of causing her dogs to suffer unnecessarily. The condition that the dogs were found in should have led any reasonable owner to seek urgent veterinary treatment.
“We feel saddened that despite the time and effort we have taken putting together a case where Islam has been charged, she has only been admonished. We believe this decision will likely result in more dogs suffering unnecessarily in the future.
“The dogs removed from Islam’s property took several months to fully recover in the care of the Scottish SPCA and thankfully have now found loving homes where their welfare needs will be met.
“If anyone has concerns about an animal they should call our confidential helpline on 03000 999 999.”