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A Scottish woman who kept her pets in her faeces-covered home has admitted to storing her dead dog in the freezer before he was buried in the garden.
In an abhorrent act of animal cruelty, Kirsty McNeil, 40, failed to feed or walk her three dogs and forced them to live in disgusting conditions, revealed the Daily Record.
Pup Cooper, who was tragically found dead, was so neglected that his claws curved underneath the pads on his feet and his fur was so matted that animal rescuers couldn’t make out what kind of breed he was.
The mum-of-three also abused two other dogs- a cross-breed called Benji and a Yorkshire terrier named Max- who were thankfully rescued by animal charity SSPCA.
In her Livingston home, there was clear evidence that the animals had chewed and scratched the door frame in a desperate bid to escape.
McNeil also admitted to neglecting her children and mother Agnes Woodside for whom she was a carer, by failing to provide them with adequate food and clothing.
The disgraced defendant failed to attend Livingston Sheriff Court where her charges were read and will be sentenced later this year.
Miral Jaber, prosecuting, said the SSPCA were alerted to the situation by an anonymous caller who told them on 24 November 2019 that two cats at McNeil’s then home were not being attended to.
Inspectors found the floor covered in dog faeces and a strong smell of urine in the flat.
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Glenn Fraser, defending, said it was one of the most difficult cases he had had to deal with and described the charges as "horrible".
He said during a two-month period in 2019 McNeil had "shut down completely" as a result of struggling with depression sparked by an abusive relationship.
"She’s completely regretful of what’s happened. She seems to have done everything she can to protect her mental health and to get things back to normal but her intense feelings of guilt have probably slowed down her recovery," he said.
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"I’d like to stress that this was never done because of deliberate cruelty. This happened because she wasn’t coping at the time. She just went into a downward spiral."
Passing sentence, Sheriff Susan Craig called the case an "appalling" situation.
She added: "It was dreadful and to some extent surprising in the 21st century to be able to descend to that level with the circumstances for the children, her mother, and the animals without it being picked up that the problem existed in the wider community."
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The surviving dogs were later given the care and rehabilitation they needed by the animal protection charity.
Scottish SPCA inspector Fiona Thorburn added: "The suffering McNeil directly caused Max and Cooper by failing to provide food and the most basic of care was entirely avoidable. Max’s condition greatly improved in our care with proper grooming and a sufficient diet."
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