Rutherglen woman left starving Staffie in home filled with urine and faeces with just 48 hours to live

A woman who abandoned her starving dog in a home filled with urine and faeces has been banned from owning pets for three years.

Following a Scottish SPCA investigation, 28-year-old Catherine Louise Thomson, formerly of Slenavon Avenue, Springhall, Rutherglen, pleaded guilty to the charge of causing unnecessary suffering to her two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, Harvey, at Glasgow Sheriff Court on 2 December 2020.

Thomson was admonished for failing to provide an adequate diet or veterinary care for Harvey but due to the condition Harvey was found in, the Sheriff sentenced her to a three-year ban on caring for any animal.

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When Harvey was examined by a vet, he was found to be emaciated and wouldn’t have survived another 48 hours without intervention.

He weighed just over 10kg when he should have been around 17kg.

Scottish SPCA inspector Stacey Erwin said: “In April 2019, we received a report from a member of the public who became concerned for a dog, we later found to be Harvey, within Thomson’s address.

“Despite attempts to contact Thomson and gain entry to the property we were unable to do so.

“On the second visit, I looked through the letterbox and saw Harvey shakily make his way to the door. He was clearly emaciated with his spine, ribs and hip bones all protruding and I had immediate concerns for his welfare.

Harvey weighed just over 10kg when he should have been around 17kg.
Harvey weighed just over 10kg when he should have been around 17kg.

“When we gained entry to the property, there was litter strewn throughout the flat and there was dog urine and faeces all over the floor. It was no place for human or animal to live. We also found there was no food or water left out for Harvey.

“We later discovered that Thomson had vacated the address and had left Harvey behind.

“Harvey seemed happy to see us but he was unsteady and severely emaciated. He had no fat covering and no muscle mass and his bones were clearly visible. I immediately offered him food which he ate ravenously. He was struggling to stand so I transported him in to my van and took him for urgent veterinary attention.

“Upon examination, the vet told us this was the worst case of emaciation they had seen in the 13 years they had been practicing. Harvey was given the lowest possible body score of 1/10 where 1 is emaciated, 5 is ideal condition and 10 is obese.

“It would have taken a considerable period of time for Harvey to reach the condition he was in and would have caused him unnecessary suffering over a significant period of time.

“The vet also told us that Harvey would not have survived for more than a couple of days if he had not been seized.

“After the necessary treatment, I took Harvey to one of our animal rescue and rehoming centres. We are so pleased that in our care he went from strength-to-strength through receiving the correct diet and attention from our expert staff. He quickly gained weight and has since found his loving forever home.

“This case just shows the urgency of reporting concerns to us as Harvey may have passed away if he had been left any longer. If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

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