A MAN who caused caused his elderly cocker spaniel unnecessary suffering because he could not afford to pay for treatment has been banned from owning animals for five years.
The conviction of Mark Burnett (38), formerly of Harbourhead, Buckpool, at Elgin Sheriff Court on Thursday followed an investigation by the SSPCA.
Burnett had previously pled guilty to causing his female dog, named Jenny, unnecessary suffering by failing to provide her with the veterinary attention she needed.
Jenny had fleas, hair loss, lesions, and eye and ear problems.
Burnett, now living in Gardenstown in Aberdeenshire, was not in court for sentencing after his solicitor revealed that the case had caused him great stress and he was unwell.
Sheriff Susan Raeburn, while admonishing Burnett on the charge, banned him from keeping any animal for five years.
The court heard that the dog is still with the SSPCA.
Solicitor Stephen Carty said Burnett did not have the financial means to provide care for the dog between June 29 and July 29 last year at his house in Buckie.
When an inspector from Scotland’s animal welfare charity arrived at Burnett’s property in July 2011, Jenny was in extremely poor condition.
She was immediately taken into the charity’s care.
Senior Inspector Lesley Crockett said: "We are pleased Burnett has admitted this offence and that, as a result of our investigation, Jenny will not be returned to him.
"Poor Jenny was in a dreadful state when we found her. She was unable to stand still as she was infested with fleas and suffering from a severe skin condition.
"She was almost completely blind and the skin around her eyes was crusted and raw due to an infection which the vet said had been present for some time.
"Jenny also had chronic ulcers in both ear canals as a result of an ear infection, which she had been suffering from for at least four weeks.
"However, after receiving lengthy treatment at our animal rescue and rehoming centre in Inverness, Jenny has made an incredible recovery.
"Unfortunately, she has very little sight now but she is an absolutely great girl, with such a sweet nature.
"Jenny has been at the centre for around a year and the staff have become very attached to her.
"One of the ladies who has been caring for Jenny is now going to give her the loving home she deserves."