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Elgin man receives three-year ban and £470 fine following investigation

a matted tan and white shih tzu

A man from Elgin has been handed a three-year ban on keeping animals and a £470 fine following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

66-year-old Graham Elrick of Nelson Terrace, Keith, pled guilty to failing to provide a comfortable and clean resting area, appropriate food and clean water for his three dogs, failing to allow them to exhibit normal behaviours and protect them from suffering, injury or disease at Elgin Sheriff Court on 13 October.

Scottish SPCA acting chief inspector Fiona McKenzie said, “On 29 September 2021, an inspector attended the property of Graham Elrick after receiving a report of concerns for the welfare of his three dogs, a brindle lurcher called Lady and two white shih tzus named Scooby and Scrappy.  

“Both shih tzus were severely matted. The matting was so bad across their faces that they were struggling to see and they had several clumps of faeces hanging in the area under their tails.

“The property was dirty and cluttered throughout, making living conditions extremely unhygienic and unsafe. The dogs only had access to dirty food and water bowls.

“Both shih tzus had extensive matting all over their bodies. The matts on their faces were obstructing their vision and would have made their eyes extremely painful. Discharge from the eyes had accumulated on the matts, causing them to be heavy with crusting, which would have been pulling on the skin on their faces.

“The matted fur accounted for five per cent of their body weight. It would have taken at least two to three months of neglect for their coats to have become this matted.

“There was one continuous large matt from the back of the head to the tip of the tail, down the sides and on the underside of the dogs. This would have been pulling on the skin below and would have prevented normal movement.

“The fur on their legs and paws was matted, even between the toes and pads. This would have made walking uncomfortable. The nails were overgrown and covered in faeces.

“There were matts on both dogs along the full length of the tail and underneath, covering the anus, which was making normal defaecation difficult, and causing staining on their fur.

“They had to be sedated and completely shaved to allow the vet to assess them properly.

“Their blood results were consistent with malnutrition and dehydration, and Scrappy also had dermatitis on one of his legs which would have been uncomfortable.

“We are pleased that Graham Elrick has been handed a three-year ban and a £470 fine. We hope Elrick will seriously reconsider his ability to care for animals in the future.

“All three dogs have since found loving homes and have settled in really well. Lady is enjoying life with her new owner and Scooby and Scrappy were rehomed together.

“If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”




If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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