VILE Scots mum struck off the care register for starving puppy to within days of death

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A VILE Scots mum who starved a puppy to within days of death has been struck off the social care register.

Fiona Cuthill was given a £500 fine and banned from keeping pets for ten years after being found guilty of animal cruelty at Stirling Sheriff Court last September.

The 32-year-old, from Plean, Stirling, admitted causing “unnecessary suffering” to her Staffordshire Bull Terrier Whippet cross, Snoop, between July and November 2015.

Snoop before

An officer from the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA)
found Snoop lying in a semi-conscious state with his ribs and pelvis sticking out in November 2015.

The pup was so poorly malnourished, he could barely walk and even collapsed at the inspector’s feet during the home visit.

He was rescued by the SSPCA, who revealed he was just days from death, and is now living happily with his new family.

Cuthill worked as an adult care assistant at the time and new documents, released yesterday (MON), revealed she has now been struck from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) register because of her shocking behaviour.

Their findings of fact, which were found proved against Cuthill, state: “On 7 June 2016, following a guilty plea, you were convicted of an offence contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, section 19(2) at Stirling Sheriff Court.

“Namely that between 16 July 2015 and 16 November 2015, both dates inclusive at Stirling and elsewhere within Stirling, you being a person responsible for an animal in terms of the Act, did by an act or omission cause an animal, namely a dog named Snoop, unnecessary suffering and you knew or ought reasonably to have known that the act or omission would have caused the suffering or be likely to do so.

“In that you did fail to provide said dog with appropriate and adequate nutrition whereby said dog became emaciated, fail to provide adequate water whereby said dog became dehydrated and failed to provide adequate care and treatment for said emaciation and dehydration.”

Cuthill also failed to inform the SSSC, and her employer at the time, William Simpson’s care home, that she had been charged with the offence and later convicted.

While making the decision to strike Cuthill from the SSSC register, the panel said: “Although your conviction and the misconduct found did not take place in a place of work, you conviction was so serious as to affect the reputation of the profession.

“You failed meaningfully to co-operate in the SSSC’s investigations or to engage in relation to the your conviction involves a pattern of neglectful behaviour over a period of four months.

“The consequences of your behaviour which gave rise to the conviction were serious, with the dog involved being emaciated and dehydrated and your behaviour caused unnecessary suffering.

“Your conviction and the misconduct found involved a significant abuse of the trust placed in you as a social service worker to demonstrate caring qualities and values and to be open with the SSSC as the regulator

“Your behaviour amounts to a significant disregard for the code and the values required of social service workers.”

Snoop weighed just 5.85kg when he was rescued and in less than four weeks with the SSPCA weighed 9.2kg.

By 13 May 2016 he was a healthy 14.2 kg – over double his original weight.

It was reported at the time that Cuthill admitted struggling to care for Snoop after buying him when he was just eight-weeks-old.

Her solicitor also claimed she had been struggling with being a single parent and had health worries.

Snoop fully recovered

Cuthill pled guilty to failing to provide sufficient adequate nutrition for Snoop, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

SSPCA Inspector Louise Seddon, who saved Snoop, said, “We received a report to our animal helpline that there was a dog at the property which was very thin and shaking and looked like it was dying.

“When I arrived I found Snoop in extremely thin condition and all his bones, especially his ribs and pelvic bones, were very prominent.

“He was in a semi-collapsed state and was only able to stand with difficulty when lifted.

“It was clear Snoop needed immediate veterinary attention and as he was barely able to walk I had to carry him to my van.

“The vet’s findings were that Snoop was severely emaciated and seriously dehydrated.

“He was immediately put on intravenous fluids and the vet was not sure whether he would survive.

“It was the vet’s view that, due to the level of dehydration, without water Snoop would likely have died within a few days, and with water death would have occurred within two weeks due to starvation.

“The vet advised that Snoop had been caused significant prolonged suffering by starvation and or chronic undernourishment over many months.

“Snoop remained at the vets on fluid therapy and received round the clock care and he gradually improved with simple, careful feeding.”

The SSPCA revealed that Snoop went on to make a full recovery and is now happy and being looked after by his new family.

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