A WOMAN who kept three dogs in horrific living conditions has been ordered to do unpaid work.

Helen Burt, 28, now of Cairns Street East, Kirkcaldy, had already been banned from keeping dogs for five years after a previous hearing.

When she returned for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Sheriff Alastair Brown placed her on a community payback order with supervision and a requirement to do 100 hours of unpaid work within six months.

She had previously admitted that between January 11 and 25, 2018, at a house in Elder Place, Rosyth, she failed to ensure the needs of three dogs, Shakira, Codi and Mali, were met.

She exposed the dogs to urine, faeces and household debris including open tin cans and broken furniture, failed to provide adequate ventilation, failed to provide dry resting areas, failed to provide adequate hydration and failed to provide a hygienic environment for them. She also failed to allow the dogs to exhibit normal behaviour patterns by failing to allow them to defecate and urinate outside of the house, causing the dogs psychological suffering, and failed to protect the dogs adequately from suffering, injury and disease.

After her last appearance in December, SSPCA inspector Sara Gregory revealed that almost £30,000 had been spent looking after the dogs for two years while the case was ongoing.

“The living environment for these animals was cramped and filthy," she said. “The entire property was uninhabitable and appeared to have been used as a kennel rather than a home.

“The smell was an overwhelming stench of ammonia, dirt and faeces that made your eyes water.

"Faeces were trodden into the floor with fresh matter on top.

“There was litter and broken furniture throughout the property.

“We found the female dogs, Shakira and Mali, contained in a cage in the living room.

"It had no bedding or resting area."

Inspector Gregory said all the dogs appeared in good body condition despite the living environment and high risk of disease due to the contamination in the house.

She added: “Not allowing the dogs adequate opportunities to toilet outside the house meant the dogs would be caused stress and potential mental suffering by having to toilet in the same area as they were confined to for sleeping and eating.

“Burt did not sign the dogs over into our care which meant that we’ve been caring for them for almost two years.

"As they are part of a case, we’ve been unable to rehome them until this conclusion. It has cost the Society almost £30,000 to care for Codi, Mali and Shakira.

“We welcome the outcome of this case. It was clear that Burt was not able to provide these animals with even the most basic of care.”