Rosyth, Fife: Helen Burt

#TheList Helen Burt, born 04/01/1992, previously of Elder Place, Rosyth, and now Cairns Street East, Kirkcaldy KY1 – kept three Staffordshire bull terriers in squalid conditions

Convicted dog abuser Helen Burt from Rosyth, near Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, is banned from keeping animals for a mere five years.
Convicted dog abuser Helen Burt from Rosyth, near Dunfermline, Fife, is banned from keeping animals for a mere five years.

Burt let the dogs, Codi, Mali and Shakira, live in a filthy home surrounded by their own excrement and failed to take them outside to do the toilet.

At Dunfermline Sheriff Court she pled guilty to a charge under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, after failing to provide the dogs with a suitable environment or to meet their needs, between January 11 and 25, 2018.

Two of the three dogs rescued from Helen Burt's filthy home.
Two of the three dogs rescued from Helen Burt’s filthy home.

The charge detailed how her treatment of the dogs would have caused them psychological suffering and put them at risk of injury and disease.

They were exposed to urine, faeces and household debris including open tin cans and broken furniture.

Burt failed to provide adequate water and ventilation for the animals, left them in an unhygienic environment and failed to allow them to exhibit normal behaviour.

She also neglected to take the dogs outside to defecate or urinate.

Conditions in which Helen Burt kept three dogs
Conditions inside Burt’s house

Animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA investigated the case.

Scottish SPCA inspector Sarah Gregory said: “The living environment for these animals was cramped and filthy.

“The entire property was uninhabitable and appeared to have been used as a kennel rather than a home.

“The smell was an overwhelming stench of ammonia, dirt and faeces that made your eyes water. Faeces were trodden into the floor with fresh matter on top.

“There was litter and broken furniture throughout the property.”

Helen Burt kept two of the dogs inside this filthy cage with no bedding.
The female dogs were kept in this cage with no bedding.

She said the female dogs, Shakira and Mali, were found in a cage in the living room, with no bedding or resting area.

All of the dogs appeared in good body condition, despite the living environment and high risk of disease due to the contamination in the house.

“Not allowing the dogs adequate opportunities to toilet outside the house meant the dogs would be caused stress and potential mental suffering by having to toilet in the same area as they were confined to for sleeping and eating,” she added.

“Burt did not sign the dogs over into our care which meant that we’ve been caring for them for almost two years. As they are part of a case, we’ve been unable to rehome them until this conclusion. It has cost the society almost £30,000 to care for Codi, Mali and Shakira.

“We welcome the outcome of this case. It was clear that Burt was not able to provide these animals with even the most basic of care.”

Sentencing: community payback order with supervision and a requirement to do 100 hours of unpaid work within six months. Five-year ban on keeping dogs.

Dunfermline Press

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