Animal sanctuary boss jailed after keeping dogs in horrific conditions

Animal cruelty web

The case has strengthened calls for harsher penalties to be introduced for those who abuse animals

30th August 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

An animal sanctuary boss who neglected dogs has been sentenced to seven months in jail.

Zara Brown failed to give dogs in her care adequate food and water and she abandoned them in a filthy derelict primary school with no lights.

The case comes in the same week where charities called for harsher punishments for those who abuse animals in Scotland.

Some of the animals found at the Ayrsihre Ark, situated in the  former St Xavier’s Primary School in Patna, were left to die in the building and Brown stored several animal carcasses in a chest freezer.

At a hearing at Ayr Sheriff Court last month, the 29-year-old admitted causing unnecessary suffering to eight dogs between November and December of last year. She admitted to leaving them malnourished and failed to get them medical help for agonising conditions including a broken bone, arthritis, ear and paw infections, pressure sores and ulcers.

Brown, of Patna, returned to the court for sentencing this week, and was jailed for seven months.

Speaking after the case, Scottish SPCA inspector Leanne McPake described the horrific conditions that the animals were found in.

She said: “On arrival we found nine dogs in various rooms tethered or caged, one dog was found dead and six others were discovered in a freezer.

“The dogs that were still alive were clearly malnourished and had no access to food or water.

“The Animal Health and Welfare Scotland Act 2006 includes the need for a suitable environment to be provided for animals, and as can clearly be seen from the photos this wasn’t the case.

“We are delighted that she has been handed a lifetime ban from keeping animals and custodial sentence. We hope that this sentence will act as a deterrent to others.”

Earlier this week, Battersea called for harsher punishments for those found guilty of animal abuse in Scotland, and the SSPCA have also backed the plea.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “There are large inconsistencies in animal cruelty sentencing throughout Scotland which we would like to see addressed, and we feel a five year maximum jail sentence would provide the sheriff with a greater range of options.

“Our supporters have been very vocal about an increase in maximum sentencing as they want to see justice for the animals who have been abused, abandoned and injured in Scotland.”