Broome woman sentenced for animal cruelty
Kay Sanmilliar Accarra Bamaga of Placanica Place in Broome was sentenced to two eight-month prison terms, suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently. Ms Bamaga will be prohibited from owning, being in charge of or having contact with any animal for 20 years, and was ordered to pay costs of $1812.61 and $1044.10.
Another dog currently in her ownership will need to be rehomed. Assistance with rehoming this dog was offered to Ms Bamaga but was refused.
Ms Bamaga was found guilty of cruelty to the dog, known as Braveheart, a four year old French Mastiff, on July 18. She was prosecuted by the RSPCA after Braveheart was found in her backyard by a ranger from the Shire of Broome, who went there to investigate a cruelty complaint.
The ranger was so concerned about Braveheart's condition that police were called to the property and Braveheart was immediately taken to the Broome Vet Hospital.
At the vet hospital, Braveheart was found to be in appalling condition with a body weight score at 1/10. The dog weighed only 27kg when a French Mastiff of similar age should weigh around 40kg. He was emaciated, his skin was infected and was covered with small scabs, ticks, fleas and mites, he had bilateral ear infections and he had an ulcer in his left eye.
Vets were of the opinion that Braveheart had been suffering for six months or more and that all of his conditions could have been prevented by veterinary treatment, food and water.
Ms Bamaga admitted owning the dog since he was a puppy and that she had paid $2,000 for him but said she did not have money to look after the dog.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said Braveheart's case was shocking and he had suffered needlessly.
"If people genuinely cannot afford to look after their animals properly they should seek assistance from an animal welfare organisation such as SAFE or the RSPCA," Ms Swift said.
"We are pleased with the outcome of this prosecution, which serves as a reminder that there is simply no excuse for cruelty and neglect."
Braveheart was taken into the care of the RSPCA but after many months of treatment, was later euthanised as, despite being on pain relief medication the animal was in constant pain and discomfort.
Ms Swift said Braveheart's case highlighted the community's urgent need for a permanent RSPCA presence in Broome to provide education on animal welfare issues and to investigate cruelty cases under the Animal Welfare Act. She said many animal welfare groups and veterinarians had joined the Shire of Broome in calling for the RSPCA to establish a base there.
The RSPCA is seeking funding to establish a permanent base in Broome.
The RSPCA would like to thank SAFE Broome, Shire of Broome Rangers, Broome Police, Broome Veterinary Hospital and the Broome community.