A Greenock man has been handed a £315 fine with a £20 victim surcharge and a three-year disqualification order following a Scottish SPCA investigation for failing to provide veterinary treatment for his dog.
28-year-old Kevin McEntee of Kestrel Crescent, Greenock pled guilty to an amended charge at Greenock Sheriff Court on 27 March for failing to provide his seven-year-old Lhasa Apso, Frankie, with veterinary treatment and grooming for severe matting which caused an eye infection, moist dermatitis and a secondary skin infection.
Scottish SPCA inspector Isla Bell said: “On 26 August 2020 we received a complaint of dog neglect against Kevin McEntee. A total of 10 attempts were made by our inspectors to view the dog in question and it was not until 10 September 2020 that McEntee met us at the property.
“Frankie’s fur was extremely matted on his head and legs and he was wearing a buster collar, the type a dog would get after having surgery to prevent them licking stitches. Frankie was bald in the areas that weren’t matted and his skin looked red and inflamed. His eyes were not visible due to the matting on his head.
“McEntee stated that he had only had Frankie for two weeks after getting him back from a family friend who had been looking after him, however he was unable to provide the name of this person or any other details.
“Frankie was clearly agitated. He would run around for a few seconds then sit frantically trying to scratch his head under and over the buster collar. He was making constant whining noises and crying out in extreme discomfort. The extreme mental frustration and irritation that Frankie would have endured as a result of having the buster collar on with his severe skin condition would have been unbearable.
“McEntee agreed to relinquish ownership of his dog into the care of the Scottish SPCA and Frankie was taken to one of our animal rescue and rehoming centres for immediate veterinary treatment.
“Frankie needed a full general anaesthetic to allow the vet to shave his entire head, body, legs and tail to remove all the matts. The matts had caused several areas of moist dermatitis and secondary skin infections on his back, face, limbs and feet.
“Frankie’s feet were particularly inflamed where faeces had become embedded into the matts and caused bacterial skin infection underneath.
“Despite receiving veterinary treatment, Frankie was still experiencing extreme itchiness. The vet thought Frankie’s condition could be due to an allergic skin disease for which there is no cure. Due to the severity of self-harm Frankie was causing himself by scratching, the difficult decision was made for Frankie to be euthanised in order to prevent the ongoing suffering his skin was causing him.
“Frankie’s condition could have been easily avoided with regular grooming. His discomfort and pain would have undoubtedly caused behavioural changes in the early stages which would have been obvious to any reasonable person and should have prompted urgent veterinary treatment.
“We are happy the courts have dealt with this case, however it further highlights our push for tougher and more consistent sentencing. This level of neglect didn’t happen overnight and could have easily been avoided.
“If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”