Merriwa Man Sentenced For Cruelty to Pet Dogs

Merriwa Man Sentenced For Cruelty to Pet Dogs

A Merriwa man has pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty and was sentenced in Joondalup Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 5 September, 2018. The charges related to his dogs, Max and Marley, who were seized by a RSPCA Inspector in May, 2017.

The man has been fined $4,000, and in addition is required to pay total costs of $10,773.60 (court costs of $7,725.69, and veterinary care costs of $3,047.91). He is also prohibited from being in charge of any dog for 10 years.

Both dogs have been forfeited to the Crown, and will be rehomed. They have been in RSPCA care since May 2017 and have made a slow but full recovery.

In May 2017, a RSPCA Inspector responded to a report from a concerned member of the public that two dogs had been apparently abandoned in a yard. On arrival, the Inspector found the two large mixed-breed dogs enclosed in a small area at the side of a house, with no visible food. Both dogs appeared extremely skinny and were also suffering from various other medical conditions that had apparently not been treated. The area of the yard where the dogs were confined was covered in dog faeces. 

The Inspector had to remove a fence panel in order to rescue Max and Marley. The dogs were seized and taken immediately to the RSPCA Animal Care Centre in Malaga, where RSPCA veterinary surgeons examined them before commencing treatment of their conditions.

Both dogs were found to be severely emaciated with very low body scores. Max had also suffered considerable loss of muscle tissue. Medical examinations concluded that both dogs had been deprived of food for a number of weeks, subjecting them to unnecessary distress and discomfort, which could have been alleviated had the owner taken reasonable measures. 

Comments attributed to RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift:

“While we are pleased that Max and Marley’s owner has been held to account for what he has done to his dogs, it doesn’t remove the pain and suffering these dogs have been through.

“Max and Marley were particularly vulnerable as they relied solely on their owner to provide basic care and vet treatment, which could have alleviated their suffering considerably. This is a reminder to all pet owners that if you can’t provide for your pets, ask for help rather than subjecting them to unnecessary distress.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of the foster carers, the vet team and the animal attendants at RSPCA WA for caring for Max and Marley, and contributing to their slow but successful recovery. I hope they find new families soon, who will love and look after them for the rest of their days.”

(RSPCA WA would like to thank DLA Piper for generously acting for Chief Inspector Swift on a pro bono basis in this matter.)

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