#TheList Carol Baird, born c. 1964, and husband Samuel Allan Baird (aka Samuel Hutchinson) both of Knock Street, Banff AB45 2NW – for neglect of their elderly pet cat who was ultimately put to sleep
Carol and Samuel Baird were banned from keeping pets for five years, following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
The pair pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the cat’s needs were met, allowing the cat’s fur to become so matted he was unable to move properly, and failing to provide veterinary treatment thereby causing him unnecessary pain and suffering.
Scottish SPCA Inspector Alison Simpson said, “This was one of the worst cases of cat neglect I’ve dealt with and I’ve worked with the Scottish SPCA for more than 20 years.
“Austin, the cat, was so badly matted that the vet needed to sedate him to be able to remove the matted fur.
“The extent of the matting caused Austin to be unable to exhibit normal behaviours and inhibited his movement. He was also suffering from dental issues that would have caused him considerable pain.
“It took over one and a half hours to remove the matted hair, and Austin’s weight dropped from 2.9kgs to 2.65kgs. It’s believed that matting this severe would have taken at least a year, and could have easily been prevented with regular brushing.
“Once his hair was removed it was clear how thin he was, with his spine and bones easily seen and felt. A cat of Austin’s build should have weighed around 4-5kg.
“Due to Austin’s advanced age and extremely ill health, a good quality of life could not have been achieved. Following extensive examination a vet decided that the kindest thing to do was put Austin to sleep and end his on-going suffering.
“I’m happy the courts have dealt with this case, however it further highlights our push for tougher and more consistent sentencing. This level of neglect didn’t happen overnight and could have easily been avoided. I hope the pair seriously consider their ability to look after animals once the 5 year ban has passed.”
Sentencing: Carol Baird was fined £1,000. Samuel Baird received a £200 fine. Both were banned from keeping animals for five years.