A DOG owner who committed one of Scotland's most shocking cases of animal neglect has been banned from keeping pets for 15 years.

Margaret Forsyth, 44, kept three toy poodles locked in her kitchen and refused to walk, groom or clip them. Two of the dogs had to be destroyed after inspectors from the SSPCA found them living in squalor.

At Lanark Sheriff Court yesterday, Forsyth, of Carluke, Lanarkshire, was banned from keeping animals for 15 years and ordered to pay the SSPCA GBP560 in compensation for vet bills. He admitted causing the dogs unnecessary suffering.

Last night SSPCA spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "This was an appalling case of neglect and we are pleased with the 15-year ban. It will ensure that this woman is not involved in the care of animals for a very long time.

"The poor poodles were in a terrible state when they were found. Their teeth were hanging off. One poodle's bottom jaw had just disintegrated and another one had a hole in the roof of its mouth.

Sentencing Forsyth, Sheriff Frank Pieri said: "You caused these dogs a great deal of suffering. That is clear to me from what I have heard and the photographs I have seen. It beggars belief that you didn't know these dogs were suffering."

Forsyth's solicitor, Archibald Hill, had told the court his client had fallen on hard times and could no longer cope with looking after the dogs.

He said: "She had the dogs for a number of years and they didn't always appear in such a poor condition. Things had spiralled out of control and she accepts she didn't care for the dogs properly."

Forsyth pled guilty to causing the dogs unnecessary suffering by failing to provide grooming and veterinary treatment.