Peterhead woman given four-year ban from owning dogs

A woman from Peterhead has been banned from owning dogs for four years and was handed 100 hours’ community payback order following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 9:52 am
Despite the best of care and treatment from vets and the Scottish SPCA, sadly Lola had to be put down (Photo: Scottish SPCA)

Inspector Fiona McKenzie described the condition of the dog, Lola, as the most horrific she had seen in her 13 years’ experience.

And she didn’t believe a four-year ban from owning dogs was long enough – saying the Scottish SPCA believed a lifetime ban was appropriate for such a serious case of animal neglect.

Ashley Graham of Crossfolds Crescent failed to provide a suitable and nutritional diet or to seek veterinary advice for Lola. Graham was sentenced at Peterhead Sheriff Court on 24 May 2021.

Inspector McKenzie said, “I had been called out to Graham’s address after a complaint was made to our animal helpline about Lola’s condition.

“When I first laid eyes on Lola, I was shocked. I could not believe what I was seeing. She was like a walking skeleton.

“She had no body fat or muscle, her skin just hung off her bones. There was no fat on Lola’s head and everything was sunken. Her eyes were cloudy with signs of infection and they had sunk back in to her eye sockets.

“Lola was suffering excessive hair loss from what looked like a chronic skin condition and her skin was hot to touch. Her ears had infected wounds which had eaten away at the edge of her ears. She was very weak and had a depressed demeanour.

“It was clear Lola was suffering from lack of nutrition and was in need of veterinary attention.”

The vet concluded that Lola’s condition had developed over the course of several months causing a prolonged period of suffering.

Lola was given antibiotics and a number of treatments and her decayed teeth were extracted. Despite this and the best efforts made by the Scottish SPCA to save her, poor Lola didn’t respond to the treatment for her septicaemia and the difficult decision was made that the kindest thing for Lola was to put her to sleep to end her suffering.

“This is a devastating end to Lola’s life which could have easily been avoided if Graham had provided an adequate diet or had asked a vet for advice sooner,” said Inspector McKenzie. “Ultimately Graham is responsible for the death of Lola.

“Any sentence is a success but we believe that Lola’s condition should have resulted in a lifetime ban on owning animals.

"We believe this would have been an appropriate sentence for Graham.

“But we do hope this has made her think seriously about her ability to care for any animal in the future.”

If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact the Scottish SPCA’s confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

As Scotland’s animal welfare charity, the Scottish SPCA is at the forefront of preventing cruelty to animals. As the only animal charity in the UK recognised as a reporting agency to the Crown Office, its inspectors enforce the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.