A MAN who bought cats online to use as bait for his dogs to attack and kill has been jailed and banned from owning or keeping animals following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
Mark Cuthbert, from Ayr, has been sentenced to ten months in prison and given a ten-year ban from owning or keeping any animal following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
The 42-year-old pleaded guilty in Ayr Sheriff Court today (Wednesday) to keeping dogs for the purpose of an animal fight.
The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit (SIU) received information in March last year that Cuthbert had dogs for animal fighting.
The SIU obtained a warrant to search Cuthbert’s address and found his pets had injuries consistent with animal fighting and suspected he had been self-medicating his dogs to avoid drawing attention to his illegal activities.
A Scottish SPCA undercover special investigation unit officer said: “This is a truly horrific case of animal cruelty where we suspect dozens of animals have suffered mentally and physically at the hands of Mark Cuthbert. His inhumane treatment of animals is completely unacceptable.
“We investigate reports of animal fights every week and the imagery and videos we discovered on his phone are some of the most depraved and upsetting we have seen.
SPCA go on to inform “Cuthbert had been picking up the cats for his dogs to attack from the online selling site Gumtree.”
“After contacting Gumtree, we found correspondence between Cuthbert and people who had listed their cats on the site, which led us to believe large numbers of cats were uplifted from pet owners who trusted their cats were going to a good, safe home.”
Further stressing: “If you are using an online service to find a new home for, or sell, your pet, please be vigilant and ensure your pet is going to a safe environment. If you are suspicious, do not continue with the sale and notify the Scottish SPCA as soon as possible.”
The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit are experts in investigating animal fighting offences and rely on information from the public to continue to put a stop to this horrific activity.