Woman Sentenced for Severe Cruelty to Dog
A northern suburbs woman was sentenced in Joondalup Magistrates Court today for inflicting severe cruelty on her dog, Rex, a male kelpie cross.
The sentence handed down was a fine of $8000 and a 10 year prohibition from being in care or control of any animal, reimbursement costs of $1216.32 and court costs of $119.35.
RSPCA Inspectors regard this as one of the worst cases of reckless disregard of an animal they have ever seen.
Responding to a cruelty report received on November 20 last year, an RSPCA Inspector visited the property and found the male Kelpie cross dog lying on the patio near the house. The Inspector observed the dog to be in very poor condition with its ribs, hips and spine clearly visible, covered in maggots and unable to move by itself.
The Inspector seized the dog and brought him to the RSPCA Animal Care Centre in Malaga, where RSPCA veterinarians examined him immediately. The veterinarian found the dog was emaciated, severely dehydrated, had numerous lesions of dead or dying skin and was covered in maggots. It was concluded that the dog was suffering so severely that the only humane thing to do was end his suffering.
An autopsy revealed the dog had suffered from a number of painful conditions. The dog weighed just 14.5kg, had recent ulcerative dermatitis, severe muscle atrophy, a kidney infection, and maggots infesting his mouth, stomach, eyes, genitals and digestive tract.
The owner admitted she knew the dog was suffering but did not want to take it to the vet. It was submitted in court that the dog had suffered harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps, contrary to section 19 (3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.
Comments attributed to RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift:
“This was a truly heartbreaking case. The pain and suffering this dog endured was totally unnecessary, and could have been avoided had the owner sought treatment sooner.
“This poor dog essentially wasted away in front of the owner’s eyes. Animals rely on their owners for absolutely every need they have – food, water, shelter – but also for seeking medical assistance when they are sick.
“Just like people, as our pets age, they develop various conditions that must be seen to and treated, to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering. And as we head into the colder months, this is even more important – please make sure your pets are provided with ample food and water, and shelter from the cold and wet.
“This dog died from severe neglect – and we don’t want to see another life lost like this.”
“Owning a pet is a big responsibility; we know that sometimes it can be expensive, but that’s no reason to ignore your pet’s suffering. Ask for help – talk to your vet, or talk to us. It is just not right to let your pets suffer needlessly.”