AN animal welfare worker who faces jail for neglecting her dogs tried to take her own life after appearing in court.
Kaitlyn MacDonald – who recently had a baby – lost her job as a canine carer with Dogs Trust after admitting being cruel to her four dogs.
With no income, she was swamped with hate mail from members of the public and feared what the future had in store for her newborn tot.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard how – at her lowest ebb – she even considered taking her own life.
The 24-year-old was allowed to walk free from court yesterday, but only so she can get her ruined life in order – and has been warned she possibly faces a prison term.
At an earlier hearing she had admitted failing to meet the dogs’ needs and keeping them in a soiled environment.
A Scottish SPCA inspector and police officers found a total of eight dogs in her Burnside Terrace home in Polbeth on July 13. It followed a tip-off to the Scottish SPCA helpline about “dog neglect”.
Four dogs were removed immediately by the Scottish SPCA and the remaining animals have since been taken from her for safe-keeping.
Stewart Houston, prosecuting, said the inspection found a nine-month-old Rottweiler bitch called Murren being kept in a plastic kennel which was too small for her.
A ten-month-old German Shepherd called Rex was muzzled in a dirty cage in the living room and a two-year-old Great Dane called Finn was being kept in another cage in the kitchen.
Victoria Good, defending, said MacDonald tried to take her own life after appearing in court the last time.
She said: “She received hate mail from members of the public when the matter was reported in the press and she lost her job as a result of this.
“She’s been signed off by the benefits department as being unfit for work and she’s had psychiatric treatment.
“She seems to have just neglected her responsibility. The irony is she took in the animals to help them. These were animals that needed a home.”
Miss Good suggested that the court should obtain a medical report before sentencing MacDonald.
Deferring sentence, Sheriff Susan Craig warned MacDonald: “You should be in no doubt I’m considering imposing a custodial sentence on you in relation to this matter.
“However, because of your age – or more particularly because of the age of your child – I don’t think it’s appropriate to impose a custodial sentence on you today until I’m sure you’re not vulnerable and could serve such a sentence.”
She added: “You must consider what to do with your child.”
She adjourned consideration of the deprivation and banning orders.