A man from Edinburgh has been sentenced to a four-month restriction of liberty order from 7.30pm to 7am, a 200-hour community payback order and a 10-year ban from owning animals after pleading guilty to inflicting 14 stab wounds on his girlfriend’s four-year-old black Labrador, Max, following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
22-year-old Declan Milne of Crewe Crescent was charged under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 19 1 (a) and (b) for causing Max unnecessary suffering by stabbing him with nail scissors multiple times.
Inspector Fiona Thorburn was alerted to the incident after a vet who treated Max was concerned by the number of injuries he had across his body. The vet recognised these wounds were non-accidental and had immediate concerns for Max’s welfare so they contacted our animal helpline.
Max belonged to the parents of Milne’s girlfriend at the time. Milne’s girlfriend had found Max cowering in fear with faeces all over the floor and on his tail. On further inspection, they saw that Max was bleeding from several places. Milne’s partner spotted that her nail scissors were missing from their set and questioned Milne who denied any knowledge of Max’s wounds. When Milne presented the scissors, there was black hair on them.
The scissors were taken for forensic analysis and dog blood and DNA was found on them.
Inspector Thorburn said, “After Milne’s girlfriend discovered Max with the fresh injuries, she immediately phoned her family who returned from their weekend away. The family were incredibly concerned and took Max straight to the vet where he received prompt treatment for his wounds.
“This has been an incredibly distressing time for Max and his owners. The family trusted Milne to look after their pet and unbeknownst to them, Milne caused Max a great deal of stress and pain. The suffering to Max is not just physical but would have caused him immense mental anguish too.
“The puncture wounds were on Max’s head, cheek, his thighs and muzzle. The vet determined that the injuries were caused by repeated trauma with a sharp object. A second vet was consulted who surmised that it was beyond any reasonable doubt that Max had sustained those injuries by deliberate violent means.
“We are glad that Milne pled guilty and admitted to this appalling crime.
“We don’t believe this was the first time that Max was caused to suffer at the hands of Milne. What we can take away from this is that Milne was caught when he was so that Max did not have to continue to suffer. We are pleased to say that Max recovered well from his wounds no doubt helped by being surrounded by his loving family.
“The Sheriff stated in court that he was ‘nauseated by the cruelty’ Milne had shown towards Max.
“We are pleased that Milne admitted his guilt in this case and that he has been handed this sentence. The ban will ensure no other animals will suffer at his hands like Max did.
“We would like to thank Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) who carried out the DNA testing.”
If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.