Woman who starved pet banned from keeping dog

Mhairi Thompson has been banned from keeping animals for two years. Picture: Vic Rodrick
Mhairi Thompson has been banned from keeping animals for two years. Picture: Vic Rodrick
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A MOTHER-of-three who starved her pet has been banned from keeping or owning a dog for two years.

Mhairi Thompson was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work in the community when she appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court.

Milo, whose owner has been sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work and banned from keeping a dog for two years.

Milo, whose owner has been sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work and banned from keeping a dog for two years.

The court heard Thompson’s neighbours called the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals because they thought her black and tan Staffordshire bull terrier was too thin.

When SSPCA inspectors went to the accused’s home in Blackburn, they found seven-year-old family pet Milo with its bones showing through its skin.

Procurator fiscal Katrine Craig told the court: “The dog appeared bright but was clearly very thin. Its spine and pelvic bones were clearly visible and there appeared to be a lot of muscle wastage.

“The accused agreed that her dog did indeed require urgent treatment and gave consent for the dog to be removed immediately.”

Mrs Craig said the vet recorded the dog as being “emaciated”, with a body score of just one out of nine.

She said the dog weighed 10.2 kilogrammes when a properly fed dog of that size should weigh around 15kg.

She added: “The view was formed by the vet that the dog was being caused unnecessary suffering by the failure to provide adequate and basic nutrition and necessary veterinary treatment. It was estimated that for the dog to be in such poor condition the neglect would have occurred over a period of weeks.”

She said the SSPCA had put the dog on a weight gain programme and it put on 1.8kg over the next 11 days.

Bizarrely, she said, her partner’s three-year-old lurcher was also in the house and it was in good bodily condition.

The SSPCA had no concerns regarding this dog which the accused claimed she’d fed at the same time as her own pet.

Thompson, 33, of Riddochhill Drive, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to causing the animal unnecessary suffering between October 1 and December 4, 2014, by failing to provide it with appropriate and adequate nutrition.

Thompson’s lawyer told the court that her client was extremely upset about the circumstances in which she now found herself.

“She accepts in hindsight she should have asked for help given that Milo was so significantly underweight but it was a reflection of her financial difficulties. She misunderstood how much Milo should have been fed. She says she was devastated when the dog had to be signed over to the SSPCA.”

Sheriff Susan Craig told Thompson she wasn’t going to fine her because her “finances are extremely restricted”.

newsen@edinburghnews.com