A WOMAN banned from keeping animals for 10 years has said she is shocked at the decision.
Adele McColl (24), of Merryton Tower, Motherwell, was sentenced at Hamilton Sheriff Court last week.
As well as receiving the ban, she was also fined £300.
At an earlier appearance, Ms McColl was found guilty of failing to provide adequate nutrition for her two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, Max.
However, she contacted the Times & Speaker to explain that she left the flat where she was staying in Bellshill at the time under threat of domestic abuse with the help of Women’s Aid.
Ms McColl said she fled in a taxi in the early hours of one morning in April 2010, believing her ex-partner would look after the dog until she had found suitable accommodation.
She claimed she was unaware her ex had later been arrested and detained in police custody in connection with another matter, with the dog consequently left on its own for around 10 days.
Ms McColl insisted she had kept in contact with her former partner, but was in hospital at the time of his arrest.
She discovered the dog had been left unattended only after council officials visited the address to collect her personal belongings and furniture, and found the dog alone.
She said: “I’d had Max since he was four weeks old and I had every intention of getting him back.
“I signed him over to the SSPCA as I was told that was the best thing to do until I had somewhere suitable for him to live, but he was then rehomed.
“Although he was a bit underweight, I want to point out that he had not been physically harmed.
“I’m shocked I was still found guilty even though the court had heard my side of the story and I will be appealing the decision.”
SSPCA inspector Sam McDonald said: “When we arrived at McColl’s property in July 2010, Max was very thin and his bones could be easily felt through his skin.
“When we took Max to a vet, he was confirmed as weighing 11.7kgs, which is considerably lower than a dog his size and breed should weigh.
“Thankfully, Max was signed over into our care and, after just one month of being fed a normal diet, had put on 3.5kgs.
“We are delighted to say he is now in a loving home with fantastic owners.”