A male pointer crossbreed was found in a bin in Dundonald Street last April 15, Friday. He was so malnourished and badly dehydrated that he had to be put down after being rescued by Scottish SPCA officers.
When news about the dog’s ordeal became public, there was a resounding demand for justice. Following an investigation, the Scottish SPCA now has two women in custody, and are said to be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
The two females, according to inspector Clare Anderson, will be reported for “alleged offences under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006“. The violation is directly related to abandonment and unnecessary suffering of a dog.
Under the Scottish criminal law, a Procurator Fiscal acts on the authority of the Lord Advocate, which is one of the two Law Officers who head up the Procurator Fiscal Service and the Crown Office in Scotland. The Procurator Fiscal Deputes, on the other hand, acts on the behalf of the Procurator Fiscal.
Their role is to consider whether a police report has enough evidence to prosecute an individual. If the evidence is insufficient, they can either ask the police to investigate further or drop the charges.
If evidence is enough to prosecute, the Procurator Fiscal Depute will then decide which court the prosecution will take place. For less serious cases, dealing with them through a Fiscal Fine may be enough. Minor road traffic offences, however, will be prosecuted by the Justice of the Peace Court.
Prosecution of more serious crimes is done in the Sheriff Court, and the most serious crimes in the High Court.
If strong evidence of animal cruelty points to the two women arrested in connection with the incident, the might be tried in any of the courts, depending on the gravity of their crime.
Penalties include a lifetime ban on pet ownership, fines of up to £20,000 and a 51-week maximum jail term.