A north-east woman has admitted starving her cat and forcing her pets to live in a house covered in rubbish and faeces.
Stablehand Kayleigh Rutherford failed to take proper care of her pet Socks, and her dog, between April and June last year.
When Scottish SPCA workers went to intervene they found the grey, white and black cat was emaciated and dehydrated and infested with fleas.
Her two pets were also living in filthy conditions with rubbish, dirty clothes and animal faeces strewn across the house.
Rutherford appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday to face two animal welfare charges.
The 27-year-old, who claims to work for Loanhead Equestrian Centre on social media sites, admitted failing to take the appropriate steps necessary to ensure her pets were living in a safe and clean environment.
She accepted that she did not provide them with a suitable diet by failing to ensure they had adequate nutrition and water.
Rutherford also failed to ensure the cat was safe from injury and disease when she did not address the “severely emaciated and dehydrated” state Socks was in before Scottish SPCA officers stepped in.
He was also “infested” with fleas which had not been treated.
Rutherford was also accused of neglecting two horses at Blackop Farm, Aberdeen, on July 8 last year.
However, she denied allowing the animals to live in filthy conditions, whereby one horse allegedly developed laminitis and was suffering from an ulcerated tumour.
Her not guilty plea to that charge was accepted by the Crown.
Sheriff Kenneth Stewart deferred sentence on Rutherford, of 70 Fernhill Drive, Aberdeen, for background reports.
Her agent, solicitor Iain Hingston, said he hoped the reports would be used to convince the sheriff not to ban his client from keeping animals in future.
She will return to court in July to be sentenced.
Last night, Scottish SPCA inspector Fiona McKenzie said: “We are pleased Rutherford has pled guilty following our investigation.
“The court will now decide on an appropriate punishment which, under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, may include a ban on keeping animals.”
Socks has now been rehomed.