An Aberdeenshire man who caused his dog unnecessary suffering by letting it fight foxes and a badger has been banned from keeping the animal for 10 years.
Vets said the man also treated the dog’s injuries with a staple gun.
Liam Taylor, 32, was handed a community payback order on Wednesday at Banff Sheriff Court.
This required him to be under supervision for 12 months and to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.
He pleaded guilty to keeping a Bull Lurcher for an animal fight and failing to provide veterinary treatment for injuries to the dog’s face, paw and teeth, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said.
Taylor was also banned from keeping dogs for the next decade.
Police and the Scottish SPCA raided his Macduff home in October 2019 and found two dogs in the back garden. One had what the Crown Office described as obvious head and face injuries.
The animal was so badly injured it had difficultly bearing weight on its front paw.
Specialist vets found the male Bull Lurcher had been used repeatedly for hunting, which resulted in multiple serious and disfiguring injuries.
The Crown Office said its injuries were thought to be a mixture of ones sustained from fighting with foxes and a badger, and said that it was the vet’s specialist opinion that by failing to seek proper treatment Taylor had caused the dog unnecessary suffering.
A toolbox was found in the garden shed, and it appeared to be a home veterinary kit which contained a staple gun and syringes that were covered in dried blood, as well as various other medical products.
DNA analysis of the staple gun showed the dog’s blood on the stapler matched that of the Bull Lurcher, the Crown Office said.
And a knife found in Taylor’s jacket proved a positive match for badger and roe deer DNA.
Taylor voluntarily handed over the ownership of the dogs to the Scottish SPCA, the Crown Office said.
Fiona Caldwell, head of the wildlife and environmental crime unit, welcomed the sentence.
“Dog fighting is a cruel illegal activity which causes terrible and unnecessary suffering to animals,” she said after the hearing.
“I welcome today’s sentence and the granting of the order preventing Liam Taylor from keeping dogs for ten years.
“COPFS will continue to work to ensure those who participate in this barbaric practice are prosecuted and would encourage anyone who may have information on dog fighting to contact the police or the Scottish SPCA.”
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