AN animal charity has hit out after a woman escaped a ban on keeping animals despite starving two dogs.
Lauren McMeechan, 23, had previously pled guilty to neglecting the male Irish Setter and female Labrador.
When inspectors from the Scottish SPCA found the animals in May 2010, they were so thin their ribs, spine and hip bones were clearly visible.
But today Livingston Sheriff Court admonished Ms McMeechan, to the shock of the charity.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, “Following our investigation McMeechan has been convicted of causing her two dogs unnecessary suffering and as a result now has a criminal record.
“However, we are shocked that no ban on keeping animals has been imposed by the court.
“The vet who examined both dogs said it was one of the worst cases of starvation he had ever seen and we believe a life ban would have been entirely appropriate in this instance.
“In cases like this we always seeking a ban, which is an option open to the courts under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act of 2006.
“Not only is it important in cases such as this, where we believe the offender has demonstrated they are unfit to care for animals, it also sends out an important message that owning animal is a privilege and not a right.
“Thankfully, both dogs were taken into our care and after prolonged rehabilitation have found a loving home together.”