The Scottish charity has expressed dismay at the sentence of a man found guilty of animal welfare offences for a second time.
Ross Elliot, who left two cats in a locked flat to starve to death, has been given a ten-year ban on owning animals following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
Elliot, from Barrowfield, Glasgow, admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to the two female cats, Cheeky and Chilli.
The 36-year-old pled guilty under Section 19 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
He had previously been convicted of the same offence when he turned up to a veterinary surgery with the corpse of an emaciated dog.
Upon inspection, the vet’s professional opinion was that Elliot had caused the dog unnecessary suffering and starved them to death. He was fined £200 and given a 12-month ban for this following a trial.
The Scottish SPCA hit out at the decision to hand Elliot a ten-year-ban. Scottish SPCA inspector Stacey Erwin said:“Three animals have now died in Ross Elliot’s care through circumstances which would have been completely avoidable if he had met their most basic needs of food and water.
“We believe he should have been given a lifetime ban as a minimum as it is clear he is not fit to own or care for animals and the previous short term ban he received clearly did not act as a deterrent.
“We monitored the flat for several days while trying to gain entry and gathered evidence, through a number of means, that no one was attending to the cats despite Elliot claiming his friend was caring for them.
“We placed cat food through the letterbox in an attempt to ensure the cats had a food source.
“Unfortunately, on gaining entry to the property on 12 March 2019 we discovered the cats had been locked away, meaning they could not reach the cat food we had been leaving for them.
“At the bottom of the stairs were many full bin bags and a large pile of unopened mail. Christmas decorations were still present in the living room.
“There were empty boxes of cat food within the flat, but there was no supply of fresh food and the only water on offer was from an extremely dirty, stagnant mop bucket. There was one litter tray which was heavily soiled.
“When we gained entry to the property we were heartbroken to find both cats were deceased. Their bodies were emaciated and infested with fleas and maggots. Both cats weighed around 1.4kg, less than half the minimum you’d expect a healthy cat to weigh.
“Our vet concluded the cats likely died a slow and unpleasant death due to a mixture of dehydration and starvation.
“When we informed Elliot of what had happened, he appeared completely disinterested in the conversation and unaffected by the news of his cats passing away.
If anyone suspects an animal has been neglected or abandoned, they should call our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.