Oban, Argyll and Bute: Frances Cooke

#TheList Frances Cooke, born August 1984, of 6D Scalpay Terrace, Oban PA34 4YH – starved a black Labrador named Bree to the extent that the dog collapsed in agony and had to be put to sleep

Dog abuser Frances Cooke from Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

Cooke admitted failing to provide adequate food and water to the five-year-old dog at her home between August and December 2013.

When Bree collapsed on December 6, 2013, Cooke took her to Oban Veterinary Surgery, claiming she found her wandering in the Soroba area of the town.

During examination Bree was semi-conscious. Her ribs and pelvis were pronounced and she was crying out in pain and distress.

It was felt the kindest option was to put her to sleep.

Cooke was later traced by Scottish SPCA inspectors who called at her house on December 11, 2013.

She burst into tears and admitted ownership.

Defence solicitor Jane Thomson said the mother-of-two began to neglect the dog in August 2013 when she and her partner split up.

She said: “The dog was bought as a puppy as a family pet five years ago. She looked after it along with her children and partner for four-and-a-half years. The catalyst seems to be the end of her 11-year relationship with her partner.

“At the time of the offence she was suffering from depression. She essentially lived in a bubble which included her and her children. She spent little time at the property because it reminded her of the relationship. The dog was left at home.

“She has received hate mail and has had to go to the police.”

Sheriff Douglas Small told Cooke: “This is an extremely distressing case and it has caused considerable outrage in the local community as I am sure you are aware.

“A number of people have written to the sheriff clerk’s office about the case expressing their outrage.

“Your neglect of this animal caused it to starve to death in great pain and it had to be put to sleep”.

Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector Iain Allan said after the hearing: “We welcome the sentence passed to Frances Cooke following our investigation.

“In our opinion, a lifetime ban is the only way to prevent other dogs suffering in her care.”

Sentencing:
160 hours of unpaid work in the community. Disqualified for life from keeping or owning a dog.

Press and Journal