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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 July, 2004, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Jail for 'barbaric' dog stabbing
Ruane was sentenced at Glasgow Sheriff Court
Ruane was sentenced at Glasgow Sheriff Court
A man who stabbed his pregnant dog to death has been jailed for three months.

Stephen Ruane, 43, from Castlemilk in Glasgow, admitted carrying out the attack on the collie bitch after losing his temper in a row with friends.

Although he buried the dog's body in woodland, he was caught after his girlfriend reported the incident to the animal welfare charity SSPCA.

Sheriff William Holligan said it was a "most barbaric thing to do" and told Ruane that prison was "unavoidable".

He added: "In my opinion, there is no reasoning for putting an animal in such great distress."

Glasgow Sheriff Court had heard Ruane had gone with his dog to his partner's flat in January.

Whether you like animals or not, people need to take on board that in domestic violence situations, it is very often the animal that is the first victim
Doreen Graham

The couple, along with a friend who was also in the house, later became involved in a heated argument.

Ruane then stormed off to the kitchen, where his two-and-a-half-year-old pet was lying on the ground.

Suddenly he grabbed a kitchen knife and plunged the blade up to seven times into the defenceless animal.

The court was told it was very apparent the dog, who was expecting six pups, was in great distress.

Anger management

Keith O'Malley, prosecuting, said: "The animal was yelping and was in pain from what had happened. It was not long after that it stopped breathing."

Ruane then grabbed the dog and raced off to nearby woods to bury it.

He later claimed he had been "disgusted" at his behaviour and that it was "disgraceful and inexplicable".

His legal team appealed for an alternative to jail and that a social work recommendation of anger management classes should be followed.

Sheriff Holligan dismissed the plea and also banned Ruane from owning an animal for the next 10 years.

SSPCA reaction

Doreen Graham, spokeswoman for the Scottish SPCA, said: "We are so pleased that the sheriff has taken this seriously.

"For a first offender, the severity of sentence reflects the severity of the crime.

"Whether you like animals or not, people need to take on board that in domestic violence situations, it is very often the animal that is the first victim.

"This really is an issue that needs to be taken seriously."

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