A GALASHIELS woman faces the possibility of a ban from being in charge of animals after admitting the neglect of a lizard in her care.

Charlotte Roberts, 28, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the pet at her home in Beech Avenue between June 26 and September 26.

She admitted failing to provide it with the appropriate care and treatment and not getting veterinary advice, leading to the lizard suffering from health conditions including emaciation and dehydration.

A not guilty plea from her partner Vickie Roberts, 23, also of Beech Avenue, to a similar charge was accepted by the Crown.

Depute fiscal Fiona Hamilton explained that a complaint was made to the Scottish SPCA about animal neglect at the property.

She said: "Officers arrived on October 22 and found a 12 week old puppy and a large number of cats, 13 in all.

"Charlotte said she had a Bosc monitor lizard which in her words was in a 'very bad' condition.

"It was motionless and in a state of collapse. It had no water. The water dish was dry and was full of wood shavings.

"She explained that the vets in Galashiels would not see her animals as she had outstanding bills to pay."

Ms Hamilton said Charlotte's partner returned to the property and they were told that all the dogs and cats in the property needed to be treated for fleas.

She added that the Scottish SPCA immediately removed the lizard for veterinary attention.

The lizard was found to be very weak and emaciated. Its weight was 1.68 kilogrammes when it should be a healthy weight of between 2.5kilogrammes and three kilogrammes.

The lizard had seven days of treatment which proved to be successful as it was 'fed back to life'.

It has now being signed over to the Scottish SPCA.

Defence lawyer Mark Harrower admitted his client had 'been out her depth' when it came to looking after the lizard.

He said: "Her partner got it for her on Facebook and she had it for a few months."

It said they could not get advice or vets treatment because of an outstanding bill.

Mr Harrower continued: "I would put this down to inexperience and not knowing how to look after it rather than deliberate neglect.”

He pointed out it was only the lizard that had been taken away from the property.

But the Crown also raised a motion for a disqualification order against Roberts from being in charge of animals.

At that point it was decided Roberts should appear personally and sentence was deferred at Selkirk Sheriff Court until February 10.

Sheriff Raymond McMenamin said: "It is a disturbing situation."