Fife man jailed for five months for dog neglect

A man has been jailed for five months after being convicted of dog neglect.

Michael Harris, 23, was also banned from keeping animals for five years, the Scottish SPCA said.

Harris, of Drum Street, Kelty, Fife, was taken to court following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

He pleaded guilty to section 24 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 of failing to ensure the welfare of his dog Milo, a Staffordshire bull terrier, the animal welfare charity said.

Harris failed to provide sufficient food and water and a suitable environment to ensure the dog’s wellbeing.

Commenting on the investigation and court case, Scottish SPCA inspector Nicola Liddell said: “Milo was emaciated with his ribs clearly visible and an exaggerated waistline.

“He weighed just 14.1kg when a dog of his breed and stature should have been around 19kg.

“There was a lack of muscle or fat over his body, and some muscle wastage over his shoulders and head.

“Police officers had attended at a property in Dunfermline under warrant prior to alerting the Scottish SPCA and found Milo living in unfit and unhygienic conditions, with debris piled up in every room.

“The dog was so thin his bones were protruding through his coat.

“Upon entering this address, I was immediately hit by the overpowering smell of urine, faeces and rubbish.

“I let Milo out of the cage where he had been secured for his safety so that I could examine him closer and he headed straight to the rubbish to scavenge for anything that was edible.”

Milo is currently being cared for by the Scottish SPCA.

Ms Liddell said: “All pet owners have a responsibility to ensure their animals receive the correct care and veterinary attention they require.

“We believe that anyone who cannot provide this basic level of care should not be in charge of an animal.

“We welcome the jail sentence and five-year ban given to Harris, and hope he will give serious consideration about his ability to care for any more pets in the future.”

Harris appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Wednesday.