#TheList Charlotte Amy Roberts, born 03/03/1991, of 274 Beech Avenue, Galashiels TD1 2LG – neglected a lizard to the extent it almost died
Roberts, who together with wife Vickie Roberts (née Hay) is a notorious pet peddler with a history of allegedly selling on poorly kittens riddled with parasites, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the pet.
Animal welfare officers said the Bosc monitor lizard was close to death when they raided the flat following the tip-off.
In addition to the lizard they found 13 cats, two dogs and a rabbit.
Roberts avoided a ban from owning all animals and has signed over her dogs and cats to the Scottish SPCA.
But there are are still two dogs, five cats and a fish living in the property as they are in the ownership of her 23-year-old wife Vickie Roberts.
Vickie Roberts’ not guilty plea to causing unnecessary suffering to the lizard was accepted by the Crown.
The court heard was told how a complaint was made to the Scottish SPCA about animal neglect at the property.
Charlotte Roberts admitted the lizard was in a “very bad” condition.
The court heard how it was motionless and in a state of collapse and had no access to water. The water dish was dry and was full of wood shavings.
Officers immediately removed the lizard for veterinary attention and it was found to be very weak and emaciated.
Its weight was 1.68 kilogrammes when it should be a healthy weight of between 2.5 and three kilogrammes.
The lizard had seven days of treatment which proved to be successful as the lizard was “fed back to life”. It has now been signed over to the Scottish SPCA.
The Crown had originally called for a ban on Charlotte Roberts owning all animals.
But after consulting the Scottish SPCA – who told them Roberts had been engaging well with them and also Lothian Cat Rescue – the motion was restricted to reptiles.
Depute fiscal Anna Robertson told the latest hearing the Scottish SPCA had spoken highly of Roberts’ attitude and that she had understood their stance over the lizard.
Ms Robertson said that as a result Charlotte Roberts had signed over her cats and one dog to the Scottish SPCA but said there were still animals in the Beech Avenue flat that had not been signed over as they belonged to Vickie Roberts.
She said there were still concerns as all the animals in the house had to be treated for fleas, the landlords Waverley Housing had a policy on the number of pets in their property and all vets in the area had indicated there were outstanding bills to be paid.
The fiscal added that it was understood there was a Go Fund Me page for a dog which had an ear infection.
Defence lawyer Colin Severin said that there were now two dogs, five cats and a fish in the property but added: “All remaining animals are in the ownership of her partner.”
As regards Charlotte Roberts he said, ‘she had taken on more than she could handle’, and there had been no malice involved.
He said a ban on keeping all animals would not be appropriate.
Sheriff Peter Paterson fined Charlotte Roberts £200 for causing unnecessary suffering to the lizard and banned her from keeping reptiles for two years.
But after hearing Charlotte Roberts has a joint Employment Support Allowance of £275 per fortnight with her partner, the sheriff said he found it “difficult to comprehend” how they could afford to keep the amount of cats and dogs they have.
Sentencing: fined £200. Banned from keeping reptiles for two years.