No excuses for animal cruelty
Andy Thanh Tiet (18), was sentenced in Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday 21 November 2014 after pleading guilty of animal cruelty in failing to seek treatment for his injured dog.
RSPCA WA received a call about 'Chopper', a young brindle male Mastiff cross, advising that the dog had been struck by a car and that Mr Tiet had not sought treatment for him.
An RSPCA Inspector attended the property and found Chopper was not able to bear weight on his left hind leg, was very slow and unsteady and had significant muscle wastage around this area. The dog was also underweight.
Mr Tiet advised the Inspector Chopper had been hit by a car six months previous. He also confirmed a third party had taken Chopper to a vet and he was advised that surgery was required but Mr Tiet could not afford the required surgery. The inspector was also advised Chopper was not on any pain relief medication.
Chopper was taken to the nearest vet clinic to receive immediate pain relief. He was later transferred to RSPCA where he received a full orthopaedic examination.
The treating vet stated "Chopper had suffered an acute painful traumatic event a few months ago that caused fractures in his left hip and damage to his right hock. Left untreated, the injured progressed to a chronic pain state, with resultant severe immobility and postural changes.
This would have been especially challenging for a growing large breed dog. Having brittle bones due to malnutrition and panosteitis (*bone disease) would have further added to his distress. The chronicity and severity of all the changes make his case surgically and medically unsalvageable. In my opinion he suffered a tremendous amount of unnecessary pain and distress for a significant portion of his life."
RSPCA WA CEO David Van Ooran said RSPCA was pleased with the outcome and that receiving the maximum community service penalty sends a strong message to animal owners that such negligence will not be tolerated.
"People need to be aware of their responsibilities as a pet owner, as there are consequences if you do not uphold them.
"It is an offence to deny any animal vet treatment. If you cannot afford vet treatment you should investigate all options including help from welfare agencies or perhaps making payment plan arrangements with the vet.
"Before you take ownership of a pet, you should consider the responsibilities and if you can afford it.
"Accidents can happen at any time and people should consider investing in pet insurance and factor this cost in to the animals needs so that there is financial support at the unexpected time of an illness or injury.
"Not being able to afford treatment for an animal is not an excuse. There is no acceptable reason to knowingly leave an animal suffering and in pain," Mr Van Ooran said.
In the 13/14 financial year, RSPCA WA received over 20,000 calls and investigated over 6,100 reports of animal cruelty
RSPCA WA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has been a voice for animals in Western Australia for over 120 years
RSPCA is a charity and relies on fundraising activities for 94% of its funding.
RSPCA upholds five freedoms for animals and believes all animals deserve freedom from: hunger and thirst, discomfort, pain, injury and disease and also from fear and distress.
To report incidents of cruelty call the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 278 3589