A Scottish man who caused unnecessary suffering to ferrets and a snake has been fined and banned from owning the animals. 

William Scott kept the animals in "extremely poor" conditions which left them shaking and malnourished at his home in Elliot Crescent, East Kilbride

After an investigation by the Scottish SPCA, the 61-year-old was found guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court of failing to provide a suitably safe and clean environment for his pets to live in.

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He received a £400 fine, a £20 victim surcharge and a five year disqualification order from owning and keeping ferrets and snakes

Inspectors originally received a call about a "strong unpleasant smell" emanating from the property and a large build up of flies around the front door on August 31, 2022. 

An environmental health officer told the SSPCA about a ferret hutch in poor condition and the ferret inside it shaking. 

A SSPCA inspector said: “We attended the property the same day and upon entering the communal garden, we found a ferret within his hutch in extremely poor body condition. He was wobbly on his feet and was visibly shaking.

"The hutch itself was in very poor condition, with a large build-up of faeces, no bedding and lack of all other necessary provision. 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. 

“Concerns for the ferret were such that we made the decision to remove him immediately in order to obtain emergency veterinary treatment."

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The ferret was examined by a vet who confirmed he was in an emaciated body condition and was extremely dehydrated, the SSPCA said.

The animal required immediate hospitalisation, for fluids and rehydration therapy, and remained hospitalised for approximately 48 hours before going to one of the charity's shelters to recover.

The SSPCA inspector said: “On gaining entry to the property the living conditions were of immediate concern. There was a significant buildup of rubbish, household items, and dirt and grime throughout. There was an obvious strong unpleasant smell, and flies swarmed throughout the property. 

“A small metal cage within the living room housed four polecat type ferrets. The cage was dirty, and completely inadequate in size for the animals within. There was water provided and the ferrets appeared to be in good body condition."

In the room "obstructed by hazards"  a vivarium containing a dwarf Hog Island boa constrictor stype of snake was found. 

There was a buildup of dirt on the glass, inspectors said, and there was a lot of shedded skin, and a significant amount of faeces and urine. 

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There was no water present and the snake herself appeared lethargic, and lean in body condition, inspectors said. 

The SSPCA said: “Due to concerns for the body condition of the snake, arrangements were made for her to attend an exotic specialist vet immediately for assessment. It was noted she was thin and mildly dehydrated.

"She has lesions on her ventral scales, and an infection on her tail. Her movements and reflexes were weak and she was cold to the touch.

"The vet concluded that the snake had been caused unnecessary suffering for months due to a combination of unhygienic conditions, starvation, untreated conditions and lack of veterinary care."

The snake was prescribed a specific course of antibiotics, and provided specialist care advice for her recovery. She was then transported to an SSPCA centre for ongoing care. 

A spokesperson for the animal charity said: “We are pleased that Scott received this ban but we would have preferred the ban to include all animals and not just ferrets and snakes."

Some of the ferrets have since been rehomed and the others are waiting to be rehomed.

Anyone who is concerned about an animal is encouraged to call the SSPCA's confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.