#TheList Lauren McMeechan, born c. 1988, of 125 High Street, Linlithgow EH48 7EJ – left her pet dogs to starve almost to death
Callous Lauren McMeechan left the two dogs – a male Irish setter and a female black Labrador – in the worst state of starvation a vet had ever seen.
McMeechan pleaded guilty to starving and neglecting the dogs.
The court heard that when investigators called at her home in May 2010, they found one-year-old setter Reilly and five-year-old Lab Halle with their ribs, spine and hip bones sticking through their fur.
McMeechan admitted causing the pair unnecessary suffering by failing to provide proper nourishment between April 1 and May 27, 2010.
But she told the court she failed to care for them because she was suffering from depression.
Iain Smith, defending, asked for no ban to be imposed on her keeping animals. He said: “In a good mental health state she would be a fit person to look after animals, although she has no plans to do so at present.”
Sheriff Donald Muirhead admonished McMeechan but advised her to think twice about keeping pets in the future.
He said: “If you feel yourself getting down or in a low mood and you have animals, give them away because you obviously can’t look after them in that state.”
SSPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We are shocked no ban on keeping animals has been imposed by the court.
“The vet who examined both dogs said it was one of the worst cases of starvation he had ever seen and we believe that a life ban would have been entirely appropriate in this instance.
“Not only is it important in cases such as this, where we believe the offender has demonstrated they are unfit to care for animals, it also sends out an important message – that owning an animal is a privilege and not a right.
“Thankfully, both dogs were taken into our care and, after prolonged rehabilitation, have found a loving home together.”