A CARE home worker has been banned from keeping pets for 20 years after he admitted to striking his Chihuahua, resulting in the dog’s death.

David Aird, of Caesar Way, Tranent, struck the small dog with his hand, leading the animal to suffer a fatal haemorrhage.

A post-mortem found that the dog, named Archie, died from “blunt force trauma” and might have suffered pain before it succumbed to its injuries.

Aird, 29, represented himself at a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday where he pleaded guilty to a charge of causing a protected animal unnecessary suffering.

The court was told that Aird had struck the dog with his hand, causing a severe injury that resulted in significant brain compression, on February 3 last year.

Following the incident, Aird took his pet to a vet but the animal later died.

Fiscal depute Deborah King said that a post-mortem was conducted and it found Archie had suffered “blunt force trauma” to the skull which proved to be “rapidly fatal”.

The prosecutor added that the strike might have rendered the dog unconscious but vets could not be certain.

The court was also told that Aird was subsequently charged by police after post-mortem findings were returned.

Sheriff Peter McCormack fined Aird £420 and banned him from owning or keeping a pet for 20 years.