Gross cruelty: woman neglected bearded dragon whose tail was cut off with knife

A GLASGOW woman has been convicted of neglecting a bearded dragon after his tail was cut off with a knife.

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Gillian Carlin (33), formerly of Greenside Street, Provanmill, was sentenced at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday, February 12.

She was given 140 hours community service and a one year supervision order.

Carlin pled guilty to causing her three year old adult male bearded dragon Mo unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary treatment for a severed tail, contrary to Section 19 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Inspector Stacey Erwin, of the Scottish SPCA, said, "We received a report that a reptile had had its tail severed during an incident at Carlin's property in July, 2012.

"On investigation we found Mo with a large part of his tail missing, leaving an open wound exposing muscle, blood vessels and spinal cord.

The remainder of his tail lay in the vivarium next to him.

"I was immediately concerned for Mo's welfare and took him straight to a vet for examination."

Inspector Erwin added, "The vet assessed Mo's injury to be around five days old and that the clean, smooth nature of the wound suggested it had been cut off with a knife. She also stated there was considerable risk of infection and that it was likely to be very painful.

"Carlin stated that she woke up to find Mo's tail cut off and thought this had been done by an unknown visitor to her property during the night.

"Whoever attacked Mo caused him a great deal of damage. Thirteen centimetres of his tail was chopped off which has impacted on his ability to balance.

"We have absolutely no doubt that Carlin's failure to take Mo to a vet for five days caused him a significant amount of pain and discomfort therefore we are pleased she has been convicted for her part in his suffering.

"This was a case of gross neglect and in our opinion Carlin has demonstrated an inability to provide basic care and a safe environment for animals. Therefore we believe a ban on keeping animals would have been an appropriate punishment.

"Thankfully we were able to save Mo and we have since found him an excellent home with an experienced owner who is able to ensure he has a good quality of life."

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