Ban and payback order for man whose dog’s ribs were ‘easily visible’

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A Larkhall man has been given a 150-hour unpaid community payback order and banned from owning or keeping animals for two years.

The sentence, at Hamilton Sheriff Court, followed an SSPCA investigation which found his dog was severely underweight with his hip bones and ribs easily visible.

John Mooney (37) pled guilty to causing his Dalmatian-type dog Marley unnecessary suffering by failing to provide him with a suitable diet - which led to health problems.

SSPCA inspector Heather Lawson said: “A dog of this type, sex and age should weigh in the region of 25 to 35kgs, whereas Marley weighed only 17.6kgs.

“Marley also had pressure sores on his front feet and left hind leg and cowered away when approached too quickly.

“Sadly, as Marley started putting on weight, other problems developed.

“He was showing increasingly aggressive tendencies, to the point that he was no longer able to be handled by trained staff members.

“The difficult decision was made by a vet to put him to sleep as Marley would have been a serious risk to members of the public in a home environment.”

She added: “Whilst we are pleased that Mooney has been dealt with by the courts we currently feel sentencing for animal abuse is very inconsistent in Scotland.

“We would like to see an increase in the maximum jail sentence which would provide the sheriff with a greater range of options.

“We hope Mooney will give serious consideration to his ability to care for animals in the future”.