A WOMAN has been banned from looking after dogs for five years after admitting leaving her pet so starved and infected it could have died.

Elizabeth McLeod pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate care and treatment to her dog, Cody, for two months between April 1 and June 1 of last year.

The 41-year-old appeared again for sentencing last Thursday, January 31, at Alloa Sheriff Court where her lawyer, Jim Savage, said there is “work to be done” with his client.

Back in December the depute fiscal described an inspection carried out by the SSPCA at McLeod’s home following a tip-off.

She said: “The depute fiscal described an inspection carried out by the group to the court: “The accused was present and invited them in and there was a female bulldog in a crate with puppies.

“The witness noted the dog was incredibly thin, with her rib cage, spine and pelvic bones clearly visible.

“Bedding in the crate smelled foul, with urine and faecal stains and no food or water bowl.

“The accused was told to offer the dog food, and she was given food which she ate vociferously, taking large mouthfuls.

“She was then asked to give it water and it drank very quickly, two full bowls of water.

“It was noted the dog had fresh blood on her hind legs and around her vaginal area.”

During the inspection McLeod confirmed she had owned the dog for two years without taking it to the vet.

The prosecutor then went on to reveal the results of subsequent examinations of the animal carried out by two vets.

They said: “The dog was described as emaciated with a body condition score of one out of nine.

“The dog was approximately 30 per cent underweight, and had depleted the majority of her fat stores to produce milk for the puppies.”

She continued: “Had she been left for a few more days she could have entered a toxic state.

“A uterine infection was also confirmed and the dog was provided with additional medication to start gaining weight.”

The dog was also sent for an operation to treat its infection, which revealed how serious a condition the animal was in.

The prosecutor continued: “The uterus was found to be enlarged and to contain multiple contained placentas, believed to have caused infection.

“If left untreated, the dog would have developed septicaemia and could have died.”

The Advertiser can also reveal that Cody and all the puppies have since been rehomed by the animal charity.

In sentencing, Sheriff David Mackie told McLeod, of Lawswell, Fishcross: “The court accepts there was no will to harm the dogs.”

She was sentenced to 12 months of supervision and banned from looking after dogs for five years.

Scottish SPCA Inspector Seddon said, “McLeod caused unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary treatment for her dog, Cody, who had a bacterial womb infection and for failing to provide her with proper nutrition which put the health of her twelve puppies at risk.

“When I visited the property, Cody was with her puppies in a cage with bedding that was saturated with faeces and urine.

“Cody was found to be incredibly thin, and after examination, the vet described her as emaciated. You could clearly see her rib cage, spine and pelvic bones and her head looked too big for her body. It was also clear there was obvious discharge and blood around her genital area indicating that there was a medical condition.

“I asked McLeod to feed Cody and she voraciously ate two bowls of food. When water was put down for her she drank two full bowls very quickly and half of a third.

“Upon veterinary examination, Cody was given a body condition score of one out of nine. She weighed 27.8kg and the vet considered that she should weigh around 40kg. Ten of her twelve puppies were found to be underweight too. It was also confirmed that Cody was suffering from a bacterial womb infection.

“Due to her infection, Cody had to have her ovaries and womb removed, where vets found multiple retained placenta from giving birth which were causing the infection. If left untreated, she could have died within days.

“I’m delighted to say that Cody made a full recovery and has found her forever home where she is getting the love she deserves. The puppies didn’t last long in our centre and I’m pleased to say they all found their happy homes too.

“We are glad that the courts have dealt with this case and the sentence passed down.

“Bans send an important message that owning an animal is a privilege rather than a right.”