A MAN has been jailed after causing the death of a dog whose body was recovered from a Forth Valley canal.

Daniel McPhillips had been paid £20 by a woman to take her dog Alfie to a vet because she could no longer afford to look after him.

Instead, the 26-year-old cruelly dumped the ten-year-old King Charles Spaniel in a canal.

He was fished out of the water in Allandale, Falkirk, having been found with its legs tied together and its lead wrapped around its neck and attached to a rock.

A Scottish SPCA investigation established that McPhillips was responsible for the dog's death.

The Denny man appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court on December 4 where he was found guilty of killing Alfie.

The incident garnered widespread public interest after Alfie's body was found with his legs bound in the canal in October 2018.

McPhillips was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Following the case, a Scottish SPCA undercover SIU officer said: "This is a truly shocking case of animal cruelty.

"Rather than taking Alfie to the vet, McPhillips instead decided to kill him and pocket the cash.

"Numerous people contacted our animal helpline to identify McPhillips as the perpetrator when Alfie was discovered in October 2018 and two witnesses told us he'd openly admitted to the crime.

"McPhillips ignored our repeated attempts to engage with him and he failed to turn up for two trial dates, which meant warrants were issued for his arrest."

Alfie was discovered when a member of the public walking along the canal noticed something in the water.

His paws were bound together and a lead around his neck was attached to a stone, weighing him down.

The passer-by removed Alfie from the water and returned home to raise the alarm.

They posted about the incident on social media and this was brought to the attention of the Scottish SPCA.

A post-mortem of Alfie showed the most likely cause of death was asphyxiation by strangulation, but drowning was not ruled out.

The SIU officer added: "It is hard to comprehend how tragic Alfie's death was. As well as the trauma to his neck, he also had injuries to his front legs where he'd been trying to escape the bindings.

"Alfie was caused unimaginable unnecessary suffering due to the actions of McPhillips. We look forward to the sentencing in this case."

McPhillips was jailed for six months by Sheriff Christopher Shead, as well as being banned from owning a pet for five years.