Fife woman banned from owning animals for five years for mistreating dogs

A Fife woman who kept three Staffordshire bull terriers in horrific living conditions has been given a five year ban on owning animals following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 4:14 pm

Helen Burt (26), of Rosyth, admitted to failing to provide a suitable environment, not allowing the dogs to exhibit normal behaviours and to not protecting them from suffering, injury and disease.

Burt pled guilty under Section 24 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. The rest of Burt’s sentence has been deferred until January 15, 2020 following criminal justice social work checks.

Scottish SPCA inspector Sarah Gregory said: “The living environment for these animals was cramped and filthy. The entire property was uninhabitable and appeared to have been used as a kennel rather than a home.

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Two of the dogs, Codi and Mali.

“The smell was an overwhelming stench of ammonia, dirt and faeces that made your eyes water. Faeces was trodden in to the floor with fresh matter on top. There was litter and broken furniture throughout the property.

“We found the female dogs, Shakira and Mali, contained in a cage in the living room. It had no bedding or resting area.

“All dogs appeared in good body condition despite the living environment and high risk of disease due to the contamination in the house.

“Not allowing the dogs adequate opportunities to toilet outside the house meant the dogs would be caused stress and potential mental suffering by having to toilet in the same area as they were confined to for sleeping and eating.

The appalling conditions in the house the dogs were kept.

“Burt did not sign the dogs over into our care which meant that we’ve been caring for them for almost two years. As they are part of a case, we’ve been unable to rehome them until this conclusion. It has cost the Society almost £30,000 to care for Codi, Mali and Shakira.

“We welcome the outcome of this case. It was clear that Burt was not able to provide these animals with even the most basic of care.”