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Man banned from keeping ferrets and snakes after pets seized from fly-infested home

A man who kept his pets in a filthy and fly-infested property has been banned from owning ferrets and snakes for five years.

William Scott, 61, found himself in the dock following an investigation by the Scottish SPCA.

The animal welfare charity said it was alerted to the rotten conditions at Scott’s home in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, in August 2022.

An environmental health officer reported a “strong unpleasant smell” emanating from the property and a “large build-up of flies” around the door of the house.

A hutch in a communal garden was found to be in shabby condition, with the officer reporting that a ferret inside was “shaking”.

The Scottish SPCA attended the same day and found the pet in “poor body condition”.

An inspector from the charity said: “Two water bottles were present but both were empty. A food bowl with old, congealed, soggy food was present, but was clearly not fit for consumption.”

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The ferret was immediately taken to a vet and was found to be emaciated and extremely dehydrated.

The animal remained in veterinary care for 48 hours, where it received fluids and rehydration therapy, before being moved into a Scottish SPCA centre to recover.

William Scott, 61, found himself in the dock following an investigation by the Scottish SPCA. Pic: Scottish SPCA
Image: A snake was recovered from a dirty vivarium. Pic: Scottish SPCA

The conditions inside Scott’s home were also a cause for “immediate concern”.

The Scottish SPCA inspector said: “There was a significant build-up of rubbish, household items, and dirt and grime throughout.

“There was an obvious strong unpleasant smell, and flies swarmed throughout the property.”

Four polecat-type ferrets were recovered from the living room along with a female dwarf Hog Island boa constrictor-type snake.

The inspector said: “There was a lot of shedded skin, and a significant amount of faeces and urine.

“There was no water present and the snake herself appeared lethargic and lean in body condition.”

The snake received a course of antibiotics and was transported to a Scottish SPCA centre for further care.

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At Hamilton Sheriff Court last month, Scott was convicted of causing his pets unnecessary suffering by failing to provide a suitably safe and clean environment for them to live.

As well as being banned from keeping ferrets and snakes for five years, he was also fined £400 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.

Sky News Source