A VALE woman who abandoned the family cat for four months has been banned from owning or caring for animals for five years.

Jodi Ann Chapman, of McColl Avenue, Alexandria, had left her previous property in May 2015 and not bothered to look for grey and white cat Dillan.

When Scottish SPCA officers found him in September, he was just a week or two from death. He had drunk every drop of water from the toilet and was emaciated down to just 2.2kg.

Miraculously Dillan made a full recovery and has a new home.

His former owner, 36, pleaded guilty at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Wednesday to abandoning Dillan in circumstances likely to cause unnecessary suffering.

Depute fiscal Jeanette Maclean described how on September 14 last year SSPCA inspector Jennifer Connolly went to property in Halkett Crescent after reports of an abused cat. When she was unable to get anyone to the door, she alerted council officials who allowed her in.

The flat had been completely cleared of belongings and there was no sign of the cat. So the SSPCA set a cat trap and returned the next day.

On September 15, they discovered a grey and white cat, very emaciated, subdued and weak.

Ms Maclean said: “They spoke with neighbours who identified the cat as being called Dillan and belonging to a woman named Jodi who lived at the property until June 2015.”

Dillan’s body condition was said to be a one on a scale of five, weighing only 60 per cent of its ideal body weight.

Ms Maclean continued: “He had been deprived of food for two to three months and would have been suffering from abdominal pain, joint pain and in prolonged suffering and distress.

“It would possibly have only survived another week or two if left in the property.

“There was no water in the toilet – the cat had obviously drunk the water dry.”

Housing officers said they had not been told Chapman had moved out.

When the SSPCA found her on September 29, she told them she moved out in May and admitted she had not looked for the cat when they left.

She told them: “The house was doing my nut in. I just wanted to leave.”

Chapman’s defence agent said the mum of three had been dumped by a former partner on Christmas day 2014 and that “sent her into a tailspin”.

Commenting on the Crown’s motion to disqualify his client from owning pets, the solicitor added: “She has had animals in the past but recognises the disqualification is likely. It will deprive her of the joy of looking after animals.”

Sheriff Simon Pender fined Chapman £315 and made the disqualification for five years.

Speaking after the case, SSPCA Inspector Jennifer Connolly said: “When we found Dillan all bones were prominent and he was very subdued and weak.

“Dillan had been denied adequate food and water over a period of three months and a vet stated he would have been suffering during this time from abdominal pain, weakness, headaches and joint pain as his body fat and muscles wasted away.

“Dillan is the thinnest cat I have ever seen during my time working for the Scottish SPCA. Thankfully Dillan made a full recovery in our care and has since been rehomed to a loving new owner.

“We are pleased Chapman has been dealt with by the court and hope she will use her five year ban to reflect on this offence and consider her suitability to care for any other animals in the future.”