Dog left to starve in family’s back garden

Gucci was found "emaciated" and injured.

Gucci was found "emaciated" and injured.

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A dog was left to starve in a garden because a single mum couldn’t afford to feed it properly.

Two-year-old Gucci also suffered a nasty cut to a leg which wasn’t treated, Hamilton Sheriff Court heard last week.

Lynsay Gallacher (34), of Redwood Crescent, Viewpark, denied neglecting the lurcher-type dog at her home, but was found guilty after trial.

Officers from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued Gucci in January last year after a call from a concerned neighbour.

They described it as being “emaciated” and said the wound on its leg was “traumatic”.

Gallacher claimed that despite being kept in her garden the dog was not her responsibility. She said it belonged to her partner, but he had been charged with domestic abuse and bail conditions kept him away from her home. She also had a dog of her own to look after.

Gallacher told the court: “The dogs were being fed every day, but I was struggling financially and I didn’t think they were getting enough. The next door neighbour was throwing food over the fence as well.”

Asked about the dog’s wound, she added: “I noticed that a couple of days before the SSPCA came. The dog got cut on barbed wire.”

Mohammed Sarwar, prosecuting, pointed out Gallacher had admitted to officers she was responsible for Gucci, but the accused said she’s been tricked into saying that. She insisted: “It was in my back garden, but it wasn’t my dog.”

The court heard Gallacher’s partner had left the house seven months before the SSPCA officers visited. She claimed she had asked him repeatedly through his mother to take Gucci away.

Defence agent Laura Kiernan said her client had been “saddled” with Gucci through no fault of her own and had acted “charitably” by giving what food she could to the dog.

Ms Kiernan added: “As a single mum on state benefits, she was in a really difficult situation. The SSPCA officers said my client’s own dog was perfectly healthy so I don’t think she is someone who is reckless with animals.

“There were constant promises from her partner that the dog would be taken from her property. He was responsible for Gucci.”

Finding Gallacher guilty of neglecting the dog, Sheriff Vincent Smith said he was prepared to “take a lenient approach” given the accused’s home circumstances. The sheriff deferred sentence until July and ordered her to be of good behaviour.

More from the court in the Times & Speaker every week.