A woman who abandoned her dog for a month and let it starve to death was was handed a six-year ban from owning animals.

Thea Anderson owned three-year-old mastiff cross Lexi, who was found locked in the hallway at only a third of the weight she should’ve been after starving to death.  

A post-mortem showed that Lexi weighed only 11.2kg when she should have weighed over 30kg.

The 21-year-old from Clydebank was also handed 160 hours of community service and an 18-month supervision period following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

Scottish SPCA inspector, Gillian Dick said that Lexi’s death was "avoidable" and the actions of Anderson were a direct cause of her death.

She said: “The level of pain and physical and mental suffering Lexi would have gone through at the end of her life would have been horrendous. Lexi was caused direct suffering because Anderson failed to provide her with food and the most basic of care.

“We are pleased that Anderson has been handed the ban owning animals.”

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Anderson who appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court yesterday, had also failed to seek veterinary treatment for Lexi which resulted in ‘immense suffering’ for the young dog. Upon questioning she had blamed Lexi’s death on a friend who was supposed to be looking after, but also admitted to seeing the dog days before her death.

A bag of dog food was also locked in a cupboard only inches away from Lexi whilst she was starving.

Inspector Gillian Dick added: “Any responsible dog owner would have recognised Lexi’s need for urgent veterinary care.

“Lexi’s condition would have likely taken weeks or longer to reach. This resulted in Lexi’s organs failing, or dehydration, which caused her death. 

“I found the bag of dog food in the hallway cupboard. It was a big bag and only a third of the food was out of it. It’s so sad to think of Lexi being so close to this food while starving to death.”

 The examining vet concluded that Lexi would have either died of organ failure or dehydration. Either of these conditions would have caused her a slow and painful death.

If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact the Scottish SPCA’s confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.