Owner of neglected dog with 'worst ear infection vet had seen' handed ban

Yvonne Williams pled guilty after her three-year-old mastiff cross, Aria, had to be put to sleep due to her severe condition.

Cumbernauld owner of neglected dog with ‘worst ear infection vet had seen’ handed pet ban Scottish SPCA
The vet described Aria's ear condition as 'the worst they had seen'.

The owner of a neglected dog with the “worst ear infection” a vet had seen “in their career” has been issued a five-year pet ban.

Yvonne Williams neglected her mastiff cross, Aria, at her Cumbernauld home by failing to provide veterinary treatment or pain relief for the condition.

The three-year-old dog eventually had to be put to sleep due to the severity of the infection.

She also pled guilty to failing to protect her two cats, Ginger and Bandit, from “suffering, injury and disease”.

On Friday, March 29, the 50-year-old pled guilty to the charges at Airdrie Sheriff Court and received the ban as well as a two-year community payback order.

The Scottish SPCA attended Williams’ property during March last year in response to a complaint of dog neglect made to the helpline.

Scottish SPCA chief inspector John Chisholm said: “It was reported that Aria had a swollen, bleeding ear and had not received any veterinary treatment.

“Further concerns were raised about the living conditions within the property and that a number of cats had fleas.

Aria had to be put to sleep due to the severe ear infection. Scottish SPCA
Aria had to be put to sleep due to the severe ear infection.

“We have received a number of complaints regarding animals at the property, dating back to 2017. Advice and subsequent follow up visits have been given to Williams over the last four years.

“In 2019 we agreed to take one of her dogs into our care as she could not cope with two big dogs. Williams was strongly advised not to take on any more animals.”

In 2020, the animal protection charity visited the property and expressed “immediate concern” for Aria’s welfare as she was suffering from a painful ear condition.

At the time, Williams was issued an animal welfare notice to take Aria for vet treatment with which she complied, she was also advised to follow all veterinary treatment plans to which she agreed to.

Mr Chisholm added: “At the most recent visit it was confirmed that Aria was again suffering with her ears, and Williams had not taken her to the vets since March 2020.

“Aria was visibly distressed and constantly clawing and scratching at both ears. Her left ear in particular was swollen and solid to the touch. The inside of the ear appeared to be completely blocked with thickened skin.

“Aria was taken for immediate veterinary attention. The vet described her condition as the worst ear condition they had seen in their career, confirming that Aria had experienced prolonged unnecessary suffering over a number of months.

“Due to the severity of Aria’s ear condition and the irreversible nature of the damage to her ear canals, she was put to sleep on veterinary advice to end her suffering.”

Despite being advised to not take on any more animals, Williams was found to have four cats and was uncooperative with the charity in relation to them while the investigation was carried out.

“Williams eventually agreed to hand over her cats for examination, but would not allow entry in to the property to inspect living conditions,” Mr Chisholm said.

Two cats, Ginger and Bandit, were taken to Scottish SPCA centres and both were found to be suffering from heavy flea infestations and needed dental surgery to fix dental disease and inflamed gums. Both cats were also underweight. 

The inspector added: “They have now received the treatment they need, but have remained in our care as Williams refused to sign them over meaning we were not able to rehome them.

“We are pleased Williams has pled guilty and received a five-year ban and community payback order. Now that the case has concluded we will finally be able to find Ginger and Bandit the loving homes they deserve.

“Aria was caused a seriously unnecessary amount of suffering and distress despite continued advice. Her condition could have been completely treatable had Williams provided her with the care she needed.

“If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”