Oscar and Daisy are truly loving and gentle-natured little dogs – but for a long time the two Maltese-cross pups were forced to endure heavily matted coats and painfully decayed teeth, all caused by neglect.
Their seizure began in September 2016, when Oscar was picked up by Onkaparinga Council as a stray and brought to RSPCA Lonsdale. Thin and badly matted, Oscar had also lost many teeth to severe dental disease. His remaining 16 teeth were so badly damaged that RSPCA veterinarians later had to extract them all.
Soon after, a man arrived to reclaim Oscar – but mentioned he was also caring for a second dog. Worried about possible neglect, RSPCA South Australia Inspector Cheryl launched an investigation under SA’s Animal Welfare Act and seized Oscar. Soon after, she seized that second dog, too – little Daisy.
Poor Daisy was also in a bad way. She had significant matting around her head, back and paws, severe dental disease, and tartar accumulation that prevented veterinarians from seeing most of her teeth. Seven of her teeth were already missing and a further 17 later had to be removed.
A loving new home for Oscar and Daisy
Oscar and Daisy spent one month in RSPCA’s care, where they slowly began to recover. In October 2016, their dream came true when both pups were adopted into a loving forever home with Mark and Angela on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
“Before Oscar and Daisy came to live with us, my husband Mark liked dogs but he wasn’t a dog lover like me. But that changed very quickly,” Angela tells us. “One night Oscar plonked himself on Mark’s lap and began licking his hand. From that moment everything changed; Oscar and my husband became best friends.
“The minute Mark gets home, Oscar has to be with him. They have become inseparable and my husband adores him. I have come to believe that Oscar was never shown true affection or respect from a male person in the past. Finally, Oscar has that love and acceptance now. It really is heartwarming for all to see. ”
Former owner pleads guilty to neglect
After Daisy and Oscar’s adoption, RSPCA South Australia prosecutors continued to work hard on a case against their former owner. In May 2017, Anthony McNicholl from Noarlunga Downs faced court charged with neglecting both dogs.
McNicholl pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to mitigate harm and one count of neglect, but no conviction was recorded. He was ordered to pay $1300 in veterinary and legal costs and was banned from owning animals indefinitely.
Tummy rubs for Daisy and ice blocks for Oscar
These days, Daisy and Oscar receive so much love, they’re practically spoilt. “They are always by our side, whether watching TV, following us around the house, or snuggled up on my bed at night. It didn’t take long for them to secure a permanent spot on the bed,” Angela says.
“They were obviously deprived of these simple things in their last home, so it is understandable that this is what they crave and enjoy the most. They have gone from being neglected to being very spoilt. Quite simply, we adore them.”
Daisy is especially fond of tummy rubs and has even taught Oscar her favourite trick: dropping to the floor as soon as she spots her fur-parents coming to ensure maximum belly rub time. Oscar still has no teeth, but he’s regularly treated to watery ice blocks and the occasional bone, which he loves to spend hours licking.
“Adopting these two dogs was the best thing I ever did,” Angela says. “Oscar and Daisy have brought so much joy and happiness to our family. I wish to extend many heartfelt thanks RSPCA Lonsdale staff for nursing them back to health. We are very grateful and blessed to have found them.”
RSPCA South Australia is the state’s only animal welfare charity empowered to prosecute animal cruelty under SA’s Animal Welfare Act. Learn more here.