A CRUEL dog owner taped a muzzle to her dog's face and left him alone for the weekend with no food and water, a court has heard.

Callous Elisabeth Steel fixed the muzzle to her dog, Rio's face using black tape before trapping the animal in her kitchen before leaving for a weekend away. 

The 45-year-old appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week (Thursday, November 7) and admitted to animal cruelty on July 18 this year.

The court heard Steel's neighbour in Methven Avenue, Kilmarnock alerted authorities after hearing the dog yelping and in distress. 

Fiscal depute Blaire Ford said: "The witness heard his downstairs neighbour - the accused's - dog whimpering. 

"The witness was aware that the accused had left earlier that day to go on holiday for the weekend. 

"The witness looked through the kitchen window to observe the dog locked in the kitchen with a muzzle on which was wrapped in black tape. He noted that there was no food or water.

"The witness thereafter contacted the SSPCA to report the matter. He then re-contacted them on July 19 to establish when they would be attending.

"Due to the delay he contacted the police advice and at 6pm that evening police attended the locus and observed the dog, a black and white collie cross, laying in the kitchen not moving. Police requested a ram and forced entry to the property. The dog was alive and was able to move and police noted that there was no food or water in the dog bowls and the dog was wearing a muzzle wrapped in black tape and had on a collar that was too tight."

The dog was taken to a vet in Kilmarnock and is in care of the SSPCA.

Sheriff Alistair Watson warned Steel she is facing a lifetime ban on owning pets.

He said: "This is a pretty sicking piece of behaviour towards a helpless animal and I will have to consider how best to deal with you on the next occasion."

Steel was bailed to appear for sentence on December 17.

Scottish SCPA chief inspector Laura McIntyre said: "This was an awful case of cruelty causing Rio to suffer unnecessarily.

"We are pleased Steel has admitted the offence and we look forward to hearing the sentencing in this case."