A DOG owner who killed the “only friend” he had has been banned from keeping animals for life.
Darren Dallas ended up in the dock for neglecting his pet Staffordshire bull terrier then dumping his body in a neighbour’s garden last year.
Now he has been slapped with the lifetime ban at Edinburgh Sheriff Court following the investigation by the Scottish SPCA.
The 27-year-old former heroin addict, who lived on Whitson Road at the time, had described the dog as his solitary companion after he had moved away from Leith in a bid to escape his past.
But he previously pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate nutrition and necessary veterinary attention for the dog, named Jack, up until his death.
Today SSPCA senior inspector Stuart Murray said the case should act as a reminder to those who own animals but do not take the task seriously.
He said: “This was a horrific case of neglect and the fact that Dallas dumped Jack like a piece of rubbish was sickening.
“We are pleased a life ban on keeping animals has been imposed as Dallas has demonstrated he is completely unfit to care for animals.
“This result also sends out an important message that owning an animal is a privilege and not a right.
“Pets rely on their owners entirely for their wellbeing and it is unacceptable for someone to ignore their animal while it suffers in silence.”
The animal welfare charity had been called to Stenhouse to remove the corpse in January last year after it was discovered by local residents.
A postmortem showed Jack had effectively chocked to death after being given food, which could have been caused by an underlying medical condition.
When arrested Dallas said he had panicked when he found the dog’s lifeless body.
As well as being banned from owning animals, he previously received a six-month suspended jail sentence.
He told the Evening News at the time: “He was the only friend I had and now I don’t have anyone.
“I moved up here to get away from Leith and I didn’t really have anyone after that. I got Jack to keep me company. When I got Jack I could tell he wasn’t right, but I fed him and got his weight up and looked after him.
“After a while he started getting ill and losing weight again.
“I tried making him eat wee bits of dog food, and in the morning he was dead.”