East Lothian crime: Dog went blind after its owner failed to take it to vet

The animal was also suffering from a painful ear condition and severe dental disease

A cruel pet owner who allowed his dog to go blind after failing to take it to the vet has been banned from keeping animals.

David Watters, 34, said he failed to take his six-year-old French Bulldog named Tyson for treatment to a severe eye condition due to a lack of money.

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Watters was found to have neglected the animal so badly the family pet named Tyson had to be put down by vets following an examination.

David Watters, 34, said he failed to take his dog for treatment to a severe eye condition due to a lack of money. Photo: Alexander Lawrie

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told the animal was also suffering from a painful ear condition and severe dental disease when it was taken in by the charity last year.

Fiscal depute Ruaridh Allison told the court a member of the public took control of Tyson and handed him into the Scottish SPCA due to their “concern for its welfare”.

The fiscal said the dog was suffering from a serious infection where the animal’s eyes were left “inflamed and scarred” and “the dog was blind as a result”.

The court heard vets stated the infection had “started no more than four months” before the examination and it was also found the pet had “several teeth missing” and was in “severe discomfort and pain”.

Tyson was also suffering from a bad ear infection that had led to a narrowing of the ear canal and despite the best efforts of the vets the dog had to be “euthanised due to its conditions”.

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Lawyer Cameron Tait, defending, said his client was a father of four and worked as a self-employed landscape gardener and labourer.

Mr Tait said Watters, from Musselburgh, East Lothian, bought the French Bulldog for £2000 and it had suffered from skin conditions since he took possession of it.

Watters claimed to have taken to animal to a vet for treatment over the years and had also bought specialised food for in order to treat the condition.

The solicitor added: “Mr Watters bought the dog when he was married with just the one child but by 2021 he had four children.

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“He earns £400 per week and that effectively goes towards his family and the dog’s welfare no longer became a priority.

“He advises he did not appreciate the dog was in such discomfort.

“He did not appreciate the dog had an ear infection but was aware the dog’s sight was affected but he thought that was due to its age.

“He appreciates he has stuck his head in the sand and advises his income was more than his outgoings.

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“What he should have done is accept he could no longer look after the dog and surrendered it to the RSPCA.”

Sheriff John Cook said he was dealing with “a sad case in which a family pet had become too expensive due to a change in family circumstances”.

The sheriff added Watters had caused Tyson “unfortunate suffering” due to his lack of care.

Watters was banned from keeping or owning animals for three years and he was fined a total of £360.

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Watters pleaded guilty to causing an animal unnecessary suffering by failing to seek veterinary treatment for a series of conditions at his home address between May 14 and September 14 last year.