Pet ban for Dumfries and Galloway health board boss Michael Keggans
A health board chairman who left a pet dog unattended without adequate food or water has been banned from keeping animals for five years.
Michael Keggans, who chairs NHS Dumfries and Galloway, was fined £900.
He admitted being the owner of a dog left unattended at a house in Thornhill in March last year.
A sheriff told him: "One might have thought that a man in your position would so organise his affairs so that this could not happen."
A solicitor for Keggans, of Forsyth Avenue, Sanquhar, said he was in a very demanding job and spent more time away from home than expected.
Dumfries Sheriff Court was told that he had initially left food and water for 12-year-old golden retriever Millie.
End Quote Depute fiscal Paula Forbes
While not the most extreme case, it is still an extremely worrying one”
Depute fiscal Paula Forbes said Scottish SPCA officials had been called to the cottage after the dog had been heard barking inside with no-one around.
An inspector attended and through a window saw what appeared to be an elderly dog and puddles of urine on the floor in the kitchen.
Efforts were made to get in touch with the occupant, but there was no response.
When officials eventually gained access they found the dog with its coat heavily matted, a damp duvet acting as a bed, and puddles of urine throughout the house.
There were two metal bowls in the kitchen, but no food or water.
The dog was fed and watered by an inspector, but on her return 27 hours later there was still no sign of Keggans.
Police were contacted and the dog was taken to Scottish SPCA kennels.Warning letter
The depute fiscal said: "While not the most extreme case, it is still an extremely worrying one."
Solicitor Vicki McMinn said Keggans had owned Millie since she was a puppy.
He had previously owned other dogs, as well as cats and horses, and had not previously been in any trouble regarding their care.
At the time of the offence he had found himself in Dundee and Edinburgh and, while not intending to stay, found he had to remain overnight.
She added that the dog was not underweight and that the Scottish SPCA had initially intimated that the incident could be dealt with by way of a warning letter.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway declined to comment on the case.