Life-Time Prohibition handed down for cruelty to dog

Life-Time Prohibition handed down for cruelty to dog
  • A 55-year-old woman from Yanchep was sentenced for animal cruelty in Joondalup Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 7 August 2020.
  • The charges under section 19(2)(a) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 relate to the ill-treatment of her dog, Missy, a Maltese type female dog. 
  • She was fined $5000 and ordered to pay legal costs of $267.50. She was also ordered to pay $600.41 to the RSPCA for the costs of caring for the dog. She is also prohibited permanently from being in charge of any animal.
  • Missy has been forfeited to the Crown. She is currently in RSPCA WA’s care, continuing to receive treatment.

Missy, Maltese-type dog, with thick matted furOn 12 January 2020, a City of Wanneroo Ranger responded to a call of an abandoned dog that was wondering the streets of Yanchep. The Ranger noticed the dog appeared to be in poor body condition and was struggling to walk. The dog’s coat was so thickly matted that the Ranger found it difficult to locate a collar or determine the dog’s gender.

Missy was taken to an emergency vet, where she was assessed. The vet determined she was in very poor condition, emaciated, and had huge mats and felting over her face, eyes, ears, neck, all four limbs and tail. The claws on Missy’s right rear foot were embedded about 1.5cm. She also had an injury on her right rear leg, but it could not be adequately assessed due to the matting.

Missy, Maltese-type dog had to be sedated so her matted fur could be removedDue to the severity of the matting and overgrown and embedded nails, the vet had to sedate Missy in order to clip her fur and trim her nails. 

RSPCA WA received a cruelty report about Missy the following day (13 January 2020). An Inspector attended the vet surgery and seized Missy and two large bags of fur that had been collected from her. Missy was taken to the RSPCA Animal Care Centre for further assessment and treatment.

RSPCA WA vets carefully assessed Missy, and determined that, in addition to being emaciated, she had marked muscle atrophy of her right hind leg, mild dental disease requiring several teeth to be extracted, and a cataract on her left eye.

MIssy,Maltese-type dog, had an old injury to her hind leg which had not been tretedAn external veterinary orthopaedic specialist was called in to assess the injury on Missy’s leg. Missy’s owner told Rangers that Missy’s leg had been crushed and she thought she had nerve damage. The specialist determined the injury to Missy’s right hind leg was a calcaneal tendon injury with deformity of the calcaneus (the ankle area).

The evidence from the Ranger, the initial vet, the RSPCA WA vet and the veterinary orthopaedic specialist showed that:

  • Missy’s emaciated state had been caused by a failure to provide adequate nutrition and/or appropriate diet for several weeks. 
  • It would have taken several months for Missy’s coat to reach full length and become so matted – this frequently leads to severe discomfort as the coat would pull on the skin causing trauma and irritation. 
  • Had Missy’s owner sought treatment when the leg injury first occurred, it may have been possible to reconstruct the tendon, returning function to that leg.


During the course of the investigation, the RSPCA Inspector discovered that as far back as 2013, Missy had been lame in her right hind leg. She had also been taken to a vet on at least three occasions between 2013 and 2017, where vet records showed that Missy was not in good condition, her coat was extremely matted, and her nails were overgrown.

Missy’s owner had claimed that she was taken to another vet more recently, but the investigation revealed that that vet had no record of Missy or her owner on file.

Missy, Maltese-type dog, is recovering in RSPCA Foster CareMissy remains in RSPCA WA care. She received initial medical treatment for her various conditions at the RSPCA WA Animal Care Centre before being placed with a foster carer, where she has gained weight slowly, been groomed daily and continues to receive regular vet checks. 

Comments attributed to RSPCA WA Deputy Chief Inspector Sharon Morgan. 

“This is an awful example of routine, ongoing neglect that has caused years of unnecessary suffering which could have easily been prevented.

“Our pets rely on us for all their basic needs. Missy’s all round poor condition, the irritating heavy matting and embedded claws could have all easily been avoided with an appropriate diet and regular grooming.

“Had her injury been treated when it first occurred, Missy could have led a much happier life. 

“When bringing a pet into your home, it is important to understand the full scope of what is required as an owner. This is especially true for pets with longer coats, who require daily brushing, and clipping every 6-8 weeks.

“And seeking medical treatment is so important. If you find yourself in a position where you can’t afford vet treatment, please ask for help before it’s too late and your pet suffers.”



  • Tina lewis:

    11 Aug 2020 11:57:42

    I would love to give her a forever home

  • Kylie Taylor:

    11 Aug 2020 12:30:18

    Will Missy be up for adoption? Or is she not going to make a full recovery? I have a toy Cavoodle that would love a friend. Thank you

  • Moni:

    11 Aug 2020 13:34:11

    Can i please apply too adopt this sweet little girl . Does she need a foster home at the moment . I would love too open my home snd heart too this sweet baby

  • Maureen Aleman:

    11 Aug 2020 14:13:44

    I would love to give Missy a home full of care, attention and love.

    My own fabulous Suzi died some 3 years ago aged 18. I really want to be considered to have Missy, I have money for her care, My husband and I I have house full of love just waiting for her. X

    Please consider us.
    Kind regards,
    Maureen Aleman.

  • Jennifer curel:

    11 Aug 2020 15:13:24

    Is she available for adoption

  • Leo oliver:

    11 Aug 2020 19:24:54

    For the life of me I just feel so angry and disgusted what this woman did not do for this little dog . Lifetime ban is not enough as she knew exactly this dog was suffering.
    Being a dog owner is a big responsibility and having had numerous dogs they rely on the owner TOTALLY.

  • Karen Giles:

    11 Aug 2020 20:42:20

    I would love to adopt this little puppy. It’s what I’ve been looking for, for years.

    My husband and and I are in our late 60’s and are looking at retiring.

    We don’t want a young dog that we’d have to train etc been there done that before.

  • Amber Moore:

    12 Aug 2020 09:16:55

    Hi is there a possibility of adopting Missy? I’ve recently lost my dog and have a female 4 year old Maltese that would love to have a friend. I am a veterinary nurse so she would be in very loving hands.we live in Perth with a big yard she would have access to and be inside mostly as I work PT and my husband is working from home PT for the past 10 years. Please email me in regards to adoption

  • Dion Rankin:

    12 Aug 2020 19:38:58

    I hope she finds a beautiful home I would love to take her but not sure how my little dog would get along my prays and thoughts are with her and bless you all for the fantastic work will done guys

  • Elizabeth Rose Hansen:

    13 Aug 2020 00:26:00

    May I adopt her please xx I love small doggies and have owned them all my life xx I have cotton dog who is a cross between a Labrador and a staffy and he is a big sook xx like a baby and you wouldn’t think he is 9 but I have been seriously wanting to get him a companion for a little while and I didn’t want another big doggie as such big a smaller one because I like them on my bed and on my couch and they are small enough to be on your knee like the pussycats which I also have two of and wonderful natures too xx may I be considered please xx my eldest daughter has been a foster parent of doggies and she has just adopted the most precious scared quiet hardly makes a sound doggie from neglect but doing well now xx Lizzie Hansen xx I live in the Palmyra area and my vet is Pakmyra vets Dr Mike xx thank you


    13 Aug 2020 13:48:17


  • Peter McKenzie:

    13 Aug 2020 15:27:34

    A great outcome for extreme neglect.

    I hope the fines and costs go the the RSPCA. If they are directed to government revenue then you should petition the Minister to change legislation to benefit RSPCA.
    YOU DO THE WORK and should receive the fines.

  • Leanne:

    14 Aug 2020 19:16:30

    Hello. Is missy going to be rehomed? I am currently looking for a non shedding dog for my mum. Had to have hers put to sleep. She has always had dogs. Is very lonely without a companion. Missy would be an inside dog and sleep in bedroom. As mum is retired she is home the majority of the time. Look forward to hearing from you.

  • Christine Cunningham:

    28 Aug 2020 20:50:21

    I was appalled that this poor dog has been treated so badly and for so long. No animal should ever be treated badly no matter what the situation. There is never any cause for cruelty of any kind.
    I have just had to have my beautiful 19yr Parson Terrier put so rest after suffering a bout of Tonic Clinic seizures all in succession, the vet stating there was no comeback from them.
    I am now retired and living with my elderly mum, who is, as I am totally devastaded. We rescued our beautiful dog near 10yrs ago. He never wanted for anything and always had the best of everything.
    If/when this beautiful furbaby is due for adoption I would love to give this wonderful dog a fantastic life, wonderful home, where it will be totally loved, have the best treatment and life plus will never want for anything ever again. Thank you so much for rescuing this and many other dogs/animals who have been cruely treated at the hand of a human being.

  • Marina Ward:

    29 Aug 2020 16:37:48

    Reading the media release I noted that the beautiful dog Missy had been taken to the vet 3 times and the records showed that Missy was not in a good condition.
    My question is: Are vets required to forward information to the RSPCA regarding their concerns? I found it strange that Missy had 3 visits and still the reports were the same.

    Thank you.


  • Cathy:

    18 Nov 2020 20:55:31

    This woman should of been put in jail these animal abusers just dont learn , they need harsher punishment or it will keep happening to these INNOCENT DOGS and to all animals.

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