Tayside and Central Scotland

Woman who abandoned 19 animals banned from keeping pets

SSPCA flat mess Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Scottish SPCA officers found animal faeces and rubbish piled in every room in the flat

A woman has been banned from keeping animals after she admitted abandoning cats, rats, a hamster and a pair of bearded dragons in a Dundee flat.

Stevie-Ley Murray fled the Benvie Road flat after her partner was arrested, leaving a menagerie of 19 animals.

Scottish SPCA officers were called in, and found a dozen cats among the animals in the filthy flat, along with an "almost unbearable stench".

Murray, 22, was fined £400 and banned from keeping animals for two years.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that she had been living at the address with her partner, but had left after the other woman was arrested in respect of a domestic assault and subsequently released on bail.

Animals confiscated

The landlady called in the Scottish SPCA after noticing a strong smell, and officers found 12 cats, four rats, two bearded dragons and a hamster inside.

No food had been provided for the rats, one of which died, and while breakfast cereal had been left out for the cats, the bearded dragons had not been given enough food. The lethargic reptiles were later discovered to be suffering from metabolic bone disease.

Image copyright Scottish spca

Fiscal depute Douglas Wiseman told the court that officers encountered an "almost unbearable" stench inside the flat.

He added: "There were 12 cats in total in the flat and every room was littered with faeces and rubbish.

"While the Scottish SPCA were there the accused attended and said she had been given one hour to get the animals out by the landlady, but the Scottish SPCA intervened and took them to a place of safety."

Murray pleaded guilty to a charge under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act, committed between March 13 and April, 2014.

'Appalling situation'

Defending, David Duncan said his client had wanted to stay away from the flat to avoid her former partner. He said she "didn't do nothing to look after these animals - but she didn't do enough".

Sheriff Tom Hughes fined Murray £400 and banned her from keeping animals for two years.

He said: "This is a really appalling situation, for animals to be left to suffer in these conditions."

Following the case, Scottish SPCA inspector Robert Baldie, who was one of the officers sent to the flat, said he was "pleased" with the outcome.

He said: "The animals had obliviously been left unattended in the flat for quite some time and living in their own mess without having their basic needs provided for.

"We hope Murray will use the ban to accept responsibility for her actions and consider whether she should take on any more animals in future."

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