Social worker who treated dog so badly it died faces being thrown out of the profession
A SOCIAL worker who neglected her dog so badly it had to be put down faces being kicked out of the profession.
Linda Murphy cared for children as young as two but failed to take her terrier to the vet when he was suffering from severe hair loss, scabby skin and inflamed areas around his eyes.
The emaciated dog, called Yewster, was constantly scratching his body in a bid to relieve the extreme pain he was suffering.
Pictures of the animal show a terrified young Yewster with angry red patches around his eyes where he had vigorously clawed at his face.
He also suffered from conjunctivitis, hearing loss and overgrown nails.
The five-year-old West Highland terrier was eventually put down when vets realised his condition was too bad to treat.
Ms Murphy, who at the time lived in Greenock, Renfrewshire, and worked for two local nurseries pled guilty at the town’s sheriff court in December 2013 to failing to provide necessary veterinary attention and an adequate diet for her animal.
The 54-year-old was fined £450 for the offence, despite claiming that she had been trying to self-treat her dog with various products as she could not afford vet treatment.
Her pooch was in such a bad condition that she was banned from owning animals for life.
She now faces disciplinary proceedings in front of the social work watchdog, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).
The SSSC charged her with causing an animal unnecessary suffering and failing to declare that she had been convicted of a criminal offence. If the charges are proved, she could be struck off.
Scottish SPCA Inspector Stewart Taylor said at the time of the hearing that the dog had been caused “considerable suffering for many months” due to Ms Murphy’s failure to provide sufficient care.
He said: “The extent and severity of Yewster’s condition meant despite the vet’s best efforts and treatment, he was still in severe pain.
“His skin was bleeding easily when he scratched himself and treating his ears with drops was a difficult experience for him.
“The vet had to make the kindest and most humane decision for Yewster, which was to put him to sleep.
“This was a tragic outcome which could have been avoided had Ms Murphy ensured Yewster received veterinary attention at an early stage.”
Ms Murphy faces a total of seven charges at a hearing with the Scottish Social Services Council next week.
Between June 2012 and December 2013 she worked at The Muddy Puddle Nursery and The Enchanted Forest Nursery in Greenock.
Other charges include that while working at The Enchanted Forest Nursery, she told a two-year-old that he was a “horrible wee boy” and said to colleagues that she had “given up on him”.
It is also alleged she roughly moved the young boy from one area of the room to another.