Neglected dog seeks fresh start as owner jailed


A MAN who left his dog alone in appalling conditions for two days has been jailed for three months following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

John McGowan, 46, of Urquhart Road, St. Fergus, Peterhead, was sentenced at the town’s Sheriff Court on Thursday and banned from keeping dogs for three years.

He had previously pled guilty to leaving his Alaskan malamute named Balto unattended for two days without making adequate provisions for his welfare and failing to provide a suitable environment for him.

The conviction comes after Scottish SPCA inspectors arrived at McGowan’s home in October 2011 and witnessed Balto’s terrible living conditions.

Balto is looking for a new home after being rescued

Eight-year-old Balto was alone in a room which was covered in faeces and urine and had no water available.

Chief Inspector John Carle said, “We are very pleased McGowan has received a jail sentence as well as a ban on keeping dogs as this sends out a strong message that neglecting an animal is an offence and will not be tolerated.

“Poor Balto had been left all alone in appalling conditions and was so thirsty when we found him that he drank four bowls of water without stopping.

“The smell of urine and faeces in McGowan’s property was overpowering as Balto had been forced to use his home as a toilet.

“Thankfully, Balto no longer has to live a life of misery and we can now find him a loving new home.”

Debbie Innes, assistant manager of the charity’s centre in Drumoak, said, “Despite Balto’s tough start in life, he is a sweet and affectionate boy who leaves a lasting impression on everyone he meets.

“He is such a typical malamute who, as well as representing all that’s great about his breed, can demonstrate some of their more challenging quirks.

“We really want to make sure Balto has the best possible life from now on so we are looking for a very experienced and confident owner who can provide him with plenty of outdoor access and lots of exercise. His new home will also need a large, secure garden.

“Balto would like to be the only pet in the household and in return he will smother his new owner with love and affection and bring fun and adventure to every day.”

If you are interested in rehoming Balto please call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.