The Scottish SPCA has been left “disappointed” after a north-east man who left his dog with two kilograms of matted fur was fined £1,000 but given back the animal.
David Youngston pled guilty to causing lhasa apso Doodles unnecessary suffering and was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court following an investigation by the animal welfare charity.
But the decision taken by a sheriff not to ban him from keeping animals has led to dismay among its officers.
The Scottish SPCA said it highlighted the need for “tougher and more consistent sentencing” of those who abuse and neglect animals.
It has urged members of the public to take part in a national consultation on animal welfare law which it believes could “transform” the lives of animals in Scotland.
Following its investigation, the 57-year-old was found to have failed to provide adequate veterinary attention and grooming for Doodles.
Youngston of Bell Avenue, Peterhead, was ordered to pay a £1,000 compensation order for animal abuse but was not banned from owning animals.
And after the dog received care, Doodles was returned to him.
Scottish SPCA inspector Fiona Shand said the dog had been found in a sorry and distressing state.
“Upon veterinary examination, Doodles was found to have severely matted fur over his whole body,” she said.
“The matts were significantly contaminated with faecal matter around his hind and feet, and he smelt very strongly of urine and faeces.
“Doodles had a significantly reduced range of motion in all four limbs and was lame on his right hind leg, due to the matting restricting his movement.
“Once the matted fur had been clipped it became evident that there was urine scalding on all four feet and around the groin area as the matts had restricted urination.”
She added: “Although we welcome the fact that this case has been dealt with by the court, we are disappointed with the sentence handed down.
“As no ban was issued, Doodles had to be returned to Youngston’s care.
“This case further highlights our push for tougher and more consistent sentencing.
“Doodle’s bodyweight on presentation was 9.4kg. After removal of the matted fur his bodyweight was 7.5kg.
“This degree of matting had not occurred quickly and is likely to have taken a considerable amount of time to get to this state.
“Doodles suffered unnecessarily as a result of this and it could have been easily avoided.”
To combat outcomes like this, the Scottish SPCA is encouraging members of the public to participate in a consultation on animal welfare law before it closes on April 26.
The organisation believes the proposed changes could transform the lives of animals in Scotland.
Those interested in participating in the consultation should visit visit