#TheList Heather and Patrick Devaney, Amulree, Perthshire – kept two springer spaniel puppies in squalor
The Devaneys were supposed to be looking after their children and pets when they exposed them to disgusting filth as they pursued an “alternative lifestyle.”
The couple admitted there was excrement and urine on the floor, bedding was soiled, old foodstuffs lay around, mould and fungus was growing, and the house was dangerously cluttered.
Heather Devaney admitted that between 21 February and 21 April, 2016, when she was responsible for looking after two springer spaniels, she failed to take reasonable steps to care for them.
In addition, she admitted failing to treat ear and eye infections and permitted the dogs’ coats to remain heavily soiled with excrement and urine.
The court was given graphic details of the starving and filthy conditions her springer spaniels were kept in.
Fiscal depute Craig Donald told Perth Sheriff Court that the “alternative lifestyle” couple’s remote home was found to be in a disgusting condition when the landlord visited to fix a boiler.
Mr Donald said: “On entering, he noted an overpowering smell of faeces in the property. Old foodstuffs and mould were spread around the kitchen.
“The property was cluttered with objects which would be hazardous to children. It was in a squalid condition and that’s what prompted him to send an eviction notice to both accused.
“There were two malnourished springer spaniels. There was excrement covering the floor. The first dog had faecal contamination of the abdomen, legs and tail.
“Both ears were infected. The coat was covered in stale urine. It had overgrown hair and nails. It was apparent the dogs had not been exercised.
“The second animal again was emaciated and had matted ears. Neither of these animals had adequate nutrition for months. They had lived in an environment contaminated with urine and faeces for a prolonged period.
“I would ask the court to take into account in sentencing, the extreme suffering these animals appear to have undergone.”
Sheriff Gillian Wade fined Mrs Devaney £540 in respect of the dog cruelty – but admonished the couple for neglecting the children.
She said: “This is a difficult case. The children were exposed to very extreme conditions of squalor and it almost beggars belief you could allow the property to get into such a condition.”
Sentence: Heather Devaney was fined £540 in respect of dog cruelty and banned from keeping animals for 5 years. The couple was admonished for child cruelty and walked free from court.