Learn the results of animal cruelty cases we prosecuted in 2017/18

Our small team of inspectors respond to more than 4,000 reports of animal cruelty every year, investigating complaints involving all kinds of animals in all kinds of situations. Learn more here.

When a case proceeds to prosecution, it is handed to our legal team to be heard in court. Magistrates then choose the penalty for offenders who have breached South Australia’s Animal Welfare Act.

Below you can read the results of RSPCA South Australia’s 2017/18 prosecution cases. Of the 70 cases taken to court in this time period, 59 prosecutions were successful. Please note some cases have been omitted in the log below as they may involve minors or offenders with severe mental health issues.

June 2018

Kingsford man convicted of ill treating 35 sheep

A 77-year-old Kingsford man received a $400 fine and 12-month supervision order in June 2018 after being prosecuted by RSPCA South Australia for ill treating 35 sheep. In May 2017, RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized 35 emaciated sheep from a Kingsford property, north of Adelaide.

Four sheep were in such critical condition that they sadly had to be euthanased immediately at the site. Another six sheep were subsequently euthanased on humane grounds after veterinarians determined their condition was so severe that there was no probability of rehabilitation.

The remaining 25 sheep survived and were rehabilitated at RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter and in foster care, before being adopted by their foster carer.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on June 29, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty and was convicted on one count of ill treating 35 sheep. In sentencing, Magistrate Broderick ordered a Section 32A supervision order, meaning the defendant must now report to RSPCA South Australia every six weeks for the next 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a $400 fine.

Man convicted of breaching animal ban

A man was found guilty in June 2018 for failing to comply with a court-ordered ban on owning animals. In September 2015, a magistrate handed down the indefinite ban following an ill treatment prosecution involving the seizure of 11 dogs and a cat. A subsequent inspection by RSPCA officers in June 2016 found the defendant had defied the ban and acquired two dogs and a cat. RSPCA seized all three animals, which were living in filthy conditions.

One dog, a Red Heeler named Minnie, displayed multiple severe behavioural problems and sadly had to be euthanased one month later. The other dog, a Staffy Bull Terrier-cross named Mickey, underwent four months of intensive rehabilitative training at RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter, but continued to display severe behavioural problems and sadly also had to be euthanased. The cat, named Chief, recovered and was adopted into a new family in August 2016.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on June 14, 2018, the defendant was convicted of breaching his Section 32A animal ban order. He was fined $500 and ordered to pay $300 in legal costs.

Pennington man convicted for failing to mitigate harm to elderly Chihuahua

A 44-year-old Pennington man pleaded guilty in June 2018 for failing to mitigate harm to his elderly female Chihuahua. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended the property on Christmas Eve 2017, they found the dog unable to move her hind legs and using her front legs to drag her body across the backyard.

The Chihuahua was rushed to an emergency veterinarian. The vet report noted the dog was emaciated, with a heart murmur, severe dental disease, severe matting and faeces throughout her coat. She was also suffering with hypothermia and dehydration from being left unattended in the backyard. Her hind legs were completely paralysed. Sadly, due to the severity of her multiple medical conditions, we were unable to prevent further suffering and so she was humanely euthanased.

In Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on June 12, 2018, the defendant was convicted of failing to mitigate harm. He was given a 12-month good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $3,078 in veterinary and legal costs.

Port Noarlunga South man convicted for failing to feed three dogs

A 33-year-old Port Noarlunga South man was convicted in June 2018 for failing to feed his three Staffy cross dogs, Cooper, Ralph and Ruby. The case was reported to RSPCA South Australia in April 2016 by a person who was inspecting a neighbouring rental property, and noticed the emaciated dogs in the defendant’s backyard.

RSPCA inspectors had worked with the defendant on a number of prior occasions to educate him on proper dog management and feeding. However, due to his failure to comply with this advice, all three dogs were seized. Cooper weighed just 12.5kg, and gained 60 per cent of his body weight, while Ruby weighed just 11.5kg and gained 72 per cent of her body weight in the same period. All three dogs were also suffering severe flea infestations and anaemia.

After six months of rehabilitation, 12-year-old Cooper was adopted into a new family in October 2016. Ruby spent time recovering in foster care and went on to be adopted by her foster family in October 2016. Sadly, Ralph displayed severe behavioural issues as a result of his past treatment. He suffered stress and anxiety, which escalated to the high likelihood of biting handlers and children. Ralph continued to pose a danger to the community and sadly had to be euthanased.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on June 12, 2018, the defendant received a six-week jail sentence, which was suspended. He was ordered to pay $2,000 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning all animals indefinitely.

Smithfield Plains woman convicted for failing to feed two dogs

A 36-year-old Smithfield Plains woman received a two-month suspended sentence in June 2018 for failing to feed to her two dogs, Foxy and Piper. RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized the two dogs in July 2017 after receiving a report that the animals were in emaciated condition.

Foxy, a 3-year-old Siberian Husky-cross, and Piper, a 2-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier-cross, were taken to RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter for medical treatment. However, Piper displayed strong signs of aggression due to her past poor treatment. Despite three months of remedial behavioural intervention, Piper continued to pose a danger to the community and sadly had to be euthanased.

Foxy required four months of care at RSPCA Lonsdale. Happily, she recovered and was adopted into a new family in November 2017.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on June 7, 2018, the defendant was convicted on two counts of failing to provide adequate food. She received a two-month prison sentence, which was suspended, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Wallaroo man pleads guilty to neglecting two Staffies

A Wallaroo man pleaded guilty in June 2018 to neglecting his two Staffy-cross dogs, Tyg and Motley. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors first inspected the property in December 2015, the two dogs were emaciated, with protruding ribs and pelvic bones, and also suffering anaemia, fur loss and dermatitis caused by a major flea infestation. The defendant was issued with an Animal Welfare Notice in December 2015 to improve the dogs’ living conditions, but failed to comply and so both dogs were seized.

Both dogs displayed severe behavioural problems, including high levels of anxiety and dangerous aggression towards other dogs, likely caused by their past lack of care and lack of socialisation with other animals. Despite three weeks of specialist behavioural intervention at RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter, the dogs continued to pose a strong safety risk to the community and sadly had to be euthanased.

In Port Pirie Magistrates Court on June 1, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an Animal Welfare Notice and two counts of neglect. He was given a six-month good behaviour bond, ordered to pay $1,258 in vet and legal costs and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. The magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

May 2018

Charlie shortly after seizure

Sefton Park woman receives suspended jail term for starving elderly dog

A Sefton Park woman pleaded guilty in May 2018 to starving her elderly Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog, Charlie. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in September 2016, 18-year-old Charlie was literally starving to death, weighing just 6.7kg – much of his fur had fallen out due to malnourishment. He was also riddled with fleas and lesions, and unable to walk as his nails had grown into his soft nail beds.

Charlie required months of specialist rehabilitation at RSPCA Lonsdale and in foster care, and in May 2017 was adopted by his foster family.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court on May 9, 2018, the defendant was convicted for failing to provide adequate food and failing to mitigate harm. In sentencing, Magistrate Paul Foley said: “I’m not sure I’ve seen an animal in poorer condition than this one.” He handed down a three-month suspended jail sentence and ordered the defendant pay $6,425 in veterinary and legal costs. She was also banned from owning all animals indefinitely, aside from two dogs and a cat already in her care.

Redbanks woman convicted of ill treating two horses

A Redbanks woman was found guilty in May 2018 of ill treating her two elderly Thoroughbred horses, Frog and Gabby. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in January 2017, both horses were severely emaciated, with body weight scores of just one out of nine. The treating veterinarian later told court that, in her 33-year career, she had never seen two horses with such extreme weight loss who had managed to survive a re-feeding program.

Frog and Gabby were transferred into foster care several days after their seizure for rehabilitation. They were adopted by their foster carer in February 2017.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on May 3, 2018, the defendant failed to appear but was convicted in her absence of failing to provide appropriate and adequate food. She received a $400 fine, was ordered to pay $2,115 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning horses for three years.

Kuitpo woman pleads guilty to failing to mitigate harm to aged pony

A Kuitpo woman pleaded guilty in May 2018 to failing to mitigate harm to her aged pony, Happy. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in November 2016, Happy’s front hooves were grossly overgrown, curving upwards and showing symptoms of severe laminitis.

Happy was extremely sore when standing and unable to walk more than a few steps due to the extreme pain in her feet, and would immediately lie down given the opportunity. Given her treatment prognosis was hopeless, veterinarians sadly decided to euthanase Happy immediately on humane grounds.

In Mount Barker Magistrates Court on May 3, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to mitigate harm. She was ordered to pay $1,249 in legal and veterinary costs, and received a 12-month good behaviour bond. The magistrate decided not to record a conviction, and banned the defendant indefinitely from owning more than 13 horses at any one time.

Maddy prosecution case 2017-18-2

Munno Para woman convicted for neglecting Beagle

A 34-year-old Munno Para woman was convicted in May 2018 of neglecting her 11-year-old Beagle Maddy. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in January 2017, Maddy was unable to move and could barely lift her head. She was whimpering and crying, clearly in a lot of pain and distress. The inspector noted that Maddy’s joints were badly swollen and her body was infested with maggots, creating a rancid smell.

Veterinarians later determined that Maddy had such chronic degenerative joint disease that her hind legs had almost completely seized. She was immediately euthanased on humane grounds by an emergency veterinarian, due to the advanced and untreatable nature of her condition.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on May 3, 2018, the defendant was convicted of aggravated neglect. She received a four-month suspended prison sentence, a 15-month good behaviour bond, and was ordered to pay $1,340 in legal and veterinary costs. She was also banned indefinitely from owning all animals aside from one already in her care.

April 2018

Hillcrest man convicted for organised dog fighting

A 39-year-old Hillcrest man pleaded guilty in April 2018 to 12 charges relating to organised dog fighting.

In August 2016, RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized six dogs, injectable anabolic steroids and equipment used for training and conditioning dogs for fighting from defendant Benn Hamilton’s Hillcrest property, including laptops, DVDs, electric shock collars, a treadmill, and apparatus for the forced breeding of fighting dogs. After a six-month investigation, charges were laid on February 3, 2017.

In the landmark case for South Australia – the first successfully prosecuted matter under amendments to the Animal Welfare Act enacted in October 2015 – Magistrate Millard sentenced Hamilton to seven months jail. He also handed down to an order forbidding ownership of any animals indefinitely.

Paralowie woman pleads guilty to failing to mitigate harm to cat

A Paralowie woman pleaded guilty in April 2018 to failing to mitigate harm to her cat, Mini Gizmo. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in February 2017, Mini Gizmo was suffering a severe injury to his right front leg, which went untreated, resulting in partial paralysis. Mini Gizmo’s paw was also ulcerated from being dragged because he could not lift it properly.

RSPCA veterinarians attempted treatment to save Mini Gizmo’s leg but he was unable to regain use of his paw. About a fortnight later, veterinarians amputated Mini Gizmo’s injured leg. After significant rehabilitation, he was adopted into a new family in June 2017.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on April 26, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to failure to mitigate harm. She received a nine-month good behaviour bond, was ordered to pay $800 in veterinary and legal costs and was banned from owning all animals indefinitely, apart from two cats and six budgies already in her care. The magistrate decided not to record a conviction.

Morphett Vale woman convicted for neglecting German Shepherd

A Morphett Vale woman pleaded guilty in April 2018 to neglecting her German Shepherd-cross dog Pumba. When surrendered to RSPCA South Australian inspectors in December 2016, Pumba was severely emaciated, with a body score of just 1 out of 9. He was unable to stand or lift his head, was non-responsive and appeared to be very close to death. He was also suffering a severe flea infestation, resulting in a painful and itchy skin condition, as well as a urinary infection, internal abscesses and kidney disease.

Very sadly, veterinarians decided to euthanase Pumba immediately on humane grounds due to the severity of his condition and his extremely poor prognosis.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on April 26, 2018, the defendant was convicted of failing to mitigate harm and neglect. She was ordered to pay $300 in legal costs and was banned from owning all animals indefinitely.

Morphett Vale man and woman convicted for failing to feed two dogs

A Morphett Vale man and a woman pleaded guilty in April 2018 to failing to provide food and water to their two Rottweiler-cross dogs, Bella and Buddy. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in November 2017, both dogs were severely emaciated.

Bella weighed just 13.7kg and increased her size to 25.3kg while in RSPCA care – an 84 per cent increase in just two months. In the same period, Buddy’s weight increased from 20.9kg to 28.8kg, a 37 per cent increase. Bella and Buddy were adopted into new homes in December 2017.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on April 12, 2018, the defendants were convicted on two counts of failing to provide adequate food and water. They were each fined $250 and ordered to pay $614 each in veterinary and legal costs. They were allowed to keep their other cat Kleo, but were banned from owning all other animals indefinitely.

Christies Beach man pleads guilty to failing to prevent harm to Red Heeler dog

A 47-year-old man from Christies Beach pleaded guilty in April 2018 to failing to prevent harm to his Red Heeler-cross dog, Axel. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in April 2017, Axel had a severe and untreated tail and anal wound. It is believed Axel had injured his tail at some point and was not given veterinary treatment, so the wound grew increasingly infected and inflamed.

After significant veterinary treatment at RSPCA Lonsdale as well as time spent recovering in a foster home, Axel was adopted into a new home in June 2017.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on April 12, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to mitigate harm. He was given an 18-month good behaviour bond, ordered to pay $592 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. The magistrate decided not to record a conviction.

Christie Downs man pleads guilty to neglecting elderly Poodle

A 45-year-old Christie Downs man pleaded guilty in April 2018 to neglecting his 13-year-old Poodle Sugar. Sugar was found wandering in the City of Onkaparinga area in September 2017 and was brought to RSPCA South Australia as a stray. Her owner was located after placing a lost pets report.

Veterinarians immediately began treating her painful and advanced dental disease, removing multiple rotten and putrid-smelling teeth. Sugar was also suffering such chronic eye disease and severe conjunctivitis that both her eyes could not be saved. Her eyes were later surgically removed, leaving Sugar totally blind. However, because her sight had been so poor for so long, Sugar thrived once freed of the severe pain. She was placed into foster care with RSPCA South Australia Rescue Officer Brigitte, who already owned another blind dog. Sugar settled in so well that Rescue Officer Brigitte decided to adopt her in January 2018.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on April 5, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to mitigate harm and neglect. He was issued a two-year good behaviour bond, was ordered to pay $3,470 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. The magistrate decided not to record a conviction.

March 2018

Hackham West woman convicted of neglecting Maltese dog

A 38-year-old Hackham West woman pleaded guilty in March 2018 to neglecting her Maltese dog Mitzy. When surrendered to RSPCA South Australia inspectors in January 2017, Mitzy was severely emaciated, with a body score of just 1 out of 9, had overgrown nails, severe dental disease, matted fur and was covered in burs.

She was also suffering from a perforated cornea in her left eye, requiring surgery for the eye to be removed. She was adopted into a new family in February 2017.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on March 8, 2018, the defendant was convicted of neglect, failing to mitigate harm and failing to provide adequate food. She received a nine-day suspended prison sentence and a six-month good behaviour bond, was ordered to pay $2,992 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Elizabeth Vale woman convicted for failing to feed dog and puppies

A 41-year-old Elizabeth Vale woman pleaded guilty in March 2018 to failing to feed a German Shepherd cross Rottweiler dog Zoe and her two puppies. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in May 2016, all three dogs were severely emaciated.

The two 6-month-old puppies had badly stunted growth and each weighed only 4.5kg. After just one month, they both doubled their body weight, while Zoe gained 42 per cent of her body weight in two months.

Despite spending three months in foster care undergoing specialist training, Zoe continued to display serious behavioural issues, including anxiety and aggression to other dogs, likely caused by her past treatment. Sadly, she posed a danger to the community and had to be euthanased. Both her puppies were adopted into new homes in July 2016.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on March 29, 2018, the defendant was convicted of failure to provide adequate food for her dog and two puppies. She was ordered to pay $1450 in veterinary and legal costs. She also received a seven-week jail sentence, which was suspended, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Elizabeth North man and woman convicted for neglecting three dogs

An Elizabeth North man and woman pleaded guilty in March 2018 to neglecting three dogs. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended the property in December 1, 2017, they seized a severely malnourished 16-year-old Blue Heeler dog named Zor. In RSPCA care, Zor increased his body weight by 35 per cent in just 13 days, but subsequently had to be euthanased after contracting a condition known as bloat.

The second dog, a Staffy named Panda, increased his body weight by 33 per cent after seizure and was successfully adopted into a new home in January 2018. The third dog, a Kelpie-cross dog named Zena, was seized along with her four puppies. She was placed in foster care with her puppies, but displayed dangerous behaviour despite ongoing behavioural training. Very sadly, Zena had to be euthanased as she posed a danger to the community. Her puppies were all adopted into new homes in January 2018.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on March 23, 2018, the defendants were convicted of three counts of failing to provide adequate food and three counts of neglect. One defendant received an 18-day suspended prison sentence, while the other received a 24-day suspended prison sentence. The pair were ordered to pay $1,565 in vet and court costs, and were banned from owning animals indefinitely (except for two budgies already in the woman’s care).

Elizabeth South woman convicted for failing to feed dog and puppies

A 31-year-old Elizabeth South woman pleaded guilty in March 2018 to failing to feed her Rhodesian Ridgeback cross Cocker Spaniel dog Willow. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended the property in January 2017, they found Willow severely emaciated and suffering from a badly infected eye. Willow had also recently given birth to seven puppies, but just two were still alive.

Willow required a specialised feeding regime for four months, while in foster care, to slowly build up her weight. She was adopted into a new family in May 2017. Her two surviving pups got plenty of love and care, too, and were both adopted the same month.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on March 15, 2018, the defendant was convicted on two counts of animal ill-treatment for failing to provide adequate food and water, and failing to seek veterinary treatment.

The magistrate handed down a seven-week suspended prison sentence and ordered the defendant pay $1,050 in veterinary and legal costs. She was also banned from owning animals indefinitely.

February 2018

Woman convicted for keeping five cats in car

A woman of no fixed abode pleaded guilty in February 2018 to keeping multiple animals in a car. The defendant was evicted from her property in July 2017 and began living in her car with multiple cats and dogs. After the situation was reported to RSPCA South Australia in August 2017, the animals were temporarily seized as inspectors attempted to educate the woman on the dangers of keeping animals in hot cars. She was issued with an Animal Welfare Notice prohibiting her from keeping the animals in the car, and her cats and dogs were returned.

However, in October 2017, she was again found with five cats in her vehicle. Inspectors immediately seized all five cats and they were later adopted into new families.

In Bordertown Magistrates Court on February 23, 2018, the defendant was convicted for failing to provide adequate living conditions. She was fined $1000 and ordered to pay $10,304 in veterinary and legal fees. She was banned from owning cats indefinitely.

Enfield man convicted for keeping 34 cats in filthy conditions

A 73-year-old Enfield man pleaded guilty in February 2018, after 34 cats and kittens were found in filthy conditions at his home. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended the property in July 2017, the house was covered in cat faeces throughout every room  some of the worst conditions ever encountered by our inspectors.

After seizure, all of the cats received veterinary treatment and 10 were able to be adopted into new homes. Sadly, despite the best efforts of our behavioural team, many of the other cats suffered severe behavioural issues caused by being locked inside the filthy home and later had to be euthanased.

In Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on February 21, 2018, the defendant was convicted of failing to provide adequate living conditions for his cats. He was ordered to pay $3,000 in veterinary and legal fees, and was banned from owning any further animals (aside from a dog already in his care) indefinitely.

Northfield man convicted for failing to feed Husky dog

A 23-year-old Northfield man pleaded guilty in February 2018 to failing to feed his Husky dog, Sabre. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors first attended the property on May 10, 2017, they found Sabre in a rubbish-strewn yard with inadequate access to food, water and shelter.

The defendant was issued with several Animal Welfare Notices and ordered to improve Sabre’s living conditions. However, no changes were made and inspectors seized Sabre 12 days later. Sabre was held in foster care and received specialist behavioural training to improve his social skills. He was adopted into a new family in December 2017.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court on February 15, 2018, the defendant was convicted of failing to provide adequate food, water and living conditions. He was fined $2,000, ordered to pay $,4460 in veterinary and court costs, and banned from owning animals for two years.

Clifford prosecution case 2018

Parafield Gardens man and woman convicted of failing to feed dog

A 35-year-old woman and 33-year-old man from Parafield Gardens pleaded guilty in February 2018 to failing to feed their Staffy dog Clifford. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in October 2015, Clifford was so emaciated he was close to death. He weighed just 17kg, and almost doubled his weight in just two months.

After three months’ rehabilitative feeding and specialist behavioural care, Clifford was adopted into a new family in January 2016.

In Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on February 13, 2018, the defendants were convicted for failing to provide adequate food. They were given a 12-month good behaviour bond, ordered to pay $3,030 in veterinary and legal costs, and banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Duct Tape kitten prosecution Feb 2018

Marion woman pleads guilty to failing to seek treatment for seriously injured kitten

A 42-year-old Marion woman pleaded guilty in February 2018 to failing to seek treatment for her 12-week-old kitten, Duct Tape. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized Duct Tape in May 2016, the kitten’s hind legs were completely paralysed and deformed, fused into a backwards position.

The defendant said Duct Tape’s hind legs had been crushed in an accident, which had occurred at her home at least a fortnight earlier. No veterinary treatment was sought following the accident. Duct Tape was taken to an emergency veterinary clinic and sadly had to be immediately euthanased due to the severity of his condition.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court on February 8, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to mitigate harm. She received a 12-month good behaviour bond, was ordered to pay $1313 in veterinary and court costs, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. The magistrate did not record a conviction.

January 2018

Western suburbs woman pleads guilty to ill treating two cats

A western suburbs woman pleaded guilty in January 2018 to two charges of animal ill treatment, in relation to two cats. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended the property in May 2017, they found a deceased cat in the rubbish bin.

The cat, named Taeyang, was almost hairless, with thickened back skin and a tumour, and in very poor body condition. In January 2018, after a second, separate complaint to RSPCA, inspectors again attended the property and seized a 14-year-old cat named Kyou. Kyou was extremely malnourished and suffering from advanced liver disease and hair loss. Sadly, Kyou’s condition was so advanced that little could be done to spare her suffering. She was later euthanased by a veterinarian on humane grounds.

In Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on January 30, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to provide adequate food and seek veterinary treatment. She was ordered to pay $200 in veterinary costs and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. The magistrate recorded no conviction.

Northern suburbs woman convicted of failing to feed puppy

A northern suburbs woman pleaded guilty in January 2018 to failing to feed her six-month-old Rottweiler cross German Shepherd puppy AJ. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in November 2014, AJ was severely emaciated, weighing only 8.6kg.

After just nine weeks in RSPCA care, AJ increased her body weight by 111% and grew to 18.2kg. Due to her malnutrition, AJ was at first unsafe for rehoming. But after months of specialised behavioural intervention at RSPCA Lonsdale, she was adopted into a new home in July 2015.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on January 25, 2018, the defendant was convicted of ill treating an animal. She received a 12-month good behaviour bond and was ordered to pay $1,945 in veterinary costs. She was also banned from owning animals for two years.

Paralowie man convicted of ill treating kitten

A 59-year old Paralowie man pleaded guilty in January 2018 to failing to seek veterinary treatment for his kitten Cherry. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in February 2017, Cherry had a severe injury to her right eye, including a perforated cornea and prolapsed iris, which required immediate removal.

Cherry recovered at RSPCA Lonsdale and was adopted into a new family 26 days later.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on January 25, 2018, the defendant was convicted of ill treating an animal. He received a six-month good behaviour bond and was ordered to pay $1,924 in veterinary costs. The defendant was also banned from owning animals for two years.

December 2017

Port Augusta West woman convicted of failing to feed two dogs

A Port Augusta West woman pleaded guilty in December 2017 to failing to feed her two dogs, a Kelpie-cross named Thunder and a Fox Terrier-cross named Cleo. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in July 2016, both dogs were emaciated, with the lowest possible body scores of 1 out of 9. Cleo was also suffering ear injuries.

Both dogs displayed severe behavioural problems including aggression issues towards other dogs, likely caused by the fact that they were never adequately socialised or exposed to environments beyond their backyard. Sadly, both Thunder and Cleo had to be euthanased as they posed a danger to the community.

In Port Augusta Magistrates Court on December 15, 2017, the defendant was convicted of failing to provide appropriate food and water for both dogs. She received an 18-month good behaviour bond and was ordered to pay $1,000 in costs. She was also banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Whyalla Stuart woman pleads guilty to neglecting Maremma dog

A 45-year-old woman from Whyalla Stuart pleaded guilty in December 2017 to neglecting her eight-year-old Maremma dog Flash. In October 2016, Flash was handed into a Whyalla vet clinic as a stray dog with severely infected ears and a matted coat. He was also suffering severe joint degenerative disease.

Flash received veterinary care for more than three months, but was eventually euthanased due to the severity of his ear infections and his painful and debilitating arthritis, which could not be contained with medication.

In Whyalla Magistrates Court on December 18, 2017, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of neglect. She was ordered to pay $1,397 in veterinary and legal costs. She was permitted to keep two other dogs in her care, but was banned from acquiring any other animals for a period of 12 months. The magistrate decided not to record a conviction.

Paralowie woman convicted of ill treating lorikeet

A 42-year-old Paralowie woman pleaded guilty in December 2017 to ill treating her rainbow lorikeet Harry. When seized by RSPCA inspectors in July 2016, Harry was suffering chronic beak and feather disease.

Under advice from veterinarians, Harry was euthanased due to the severity of his condition. Two dogs and a cat were also seized due to their poor living conditions. All three were later forfeited by the court and adopted into new families.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on December 4, 2017, the defendant was convicted of failing to mitigate harm to her lorikeet and was also formally cautioned in relation to her other animals. She received a two-year good behaviour bond and a four-year ban on owning animals.

November 2017

Salisbury man pleads guilty to failing to mitigate harm to sheep

A 51-year-old Salisbury man pleaded guilty in November 2017 to failing to mitigate harm for his seven-month-old sheep. The animal was located in January 2017 by a person who responded to an advertisement on Gumtree. After discovering the sheep was in such poor condition it could no longer stand up, the person immediately purchased the animal, which she named Evan, and took him to an Adelaide Hills veterinarian.

A vet report found the sheep had a severe and infected front leg injury, several wounds and pressure sores on his face, and a low body weight score. Treatment was attempted, but the sheep died a short time later of tetanus.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on November 30, 2017, the defendant was charged with failing to mitigate harm. He was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $3,756 in court and vet costs, and was banned from owning livestock indefinitely. The magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

Hackham woman found guilty of neglecting two dogs

A 44-year-old Hackham woman pleaded guilty in November 2017 to neglecting her two Maltese cross dogs, Dizzy and Lemon, who were found living in the backyard of a burnt-out and unoccupied property. When seized by RSPCA inspectors in August 2016, both dogs were significantly underweight and with coats so severely matted they could barely see.

Veterinarians had to completely shave both Dizzy and Lemon from head to tail. Dizzy was also suffering inflammation of the surface of her eyes. After several weeks of specialist care at RSPCA Lonsdale, Dizzy and Lemon were adopted together into a new home in October 2016.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on November 28, 2017, the defendant received a nine-month good behaviour bond.  She was ordered to pay $1,794 in veterinary and court costs, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. The magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

Glanville woman convicted of failing to mitigate harm to elderly dog

A 62-year-old Glanville woman pleaded guilty in November 2017 to failing to mitigate harm to her Staffy-cross dog Scarlette, who was found with a severe prolapsed vulva. The defendant had previously taken Scarlette to a veterinary clinic and was advised euthanasia was the only option, however that advice was not heeded and the matter was not reported to RSPCA.

Twenty-two months later, RSPCA South Australia received the call to investigate Scarlette’s condition. When seized in December 2016, the 11-year-old dog had a large 20cm tumour hanging between her back legs. She was also emaciated, had all her incisors worn down to the gumline and nerve endings, and had numerous other pendulous skin masses. Veterinarians opted to immediately humanely euthanase Scarlette to alleviate suffering caused by the inoperative tumour.

In Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on November 17, 2017, the defendant was convicted on one count of failing to mitigate harm. She received a nine-month good behaviour bond, was ordered to pay $2,980 in veterinary and legal costs. She was also banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Morphett Vale man convicted of ill treating elderly cat

A 61-year-old Morphett Vale man pleaded guilty in November 2017 to failing to mitigate harm to his elderly cat, Scruffy. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in November 2016, Scruffy was suffering from a large and cancerous mammary tumour. The ruptured and ulcerated tumour measured 4cm by 6cm.

Scruffy also had fleas, dental disease and missing teeth, and suspected arthritis. Given the immense pain Scruffy was suffering, veterinarians euthanased her immediately due to the severity of her condition and her poor prognosis.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on November 15, 2017, the defendant was convicted on one count of ill treatment. He was placed on a 18-month good behaviour bond, was ordered to pay $2165 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Woodville South woman convicted of failing to feed two dogs

A 29-year-old Woodville South woman pleaded guilty in November 2017 to failing to feed her two Rhodesian Ridgeback-cross dogs, Choco and Parker. The two were reported to RSPCA South Australia in October 2016 after being seen in very poor condition. Both dogs’ ribs and hips were visibly sticking out and they had body scores of just 1.9 out of nine.

The defendant agreed to surrender both dogs to RSPCA South Australia inspectors, who took them to RSPCA Lonsdale for care. In just 17 days, Choco put on 6.4kg – a 43% increase in body weight – while Parker put on 5.3kg – a 58% increase. Both Choco and Parker were adopted into new homes in November 2016.

During court proceedings, prosecutors put forward that the defendant had previously surrendered two malnourished dogs into RSPCA care in November 2015, and was cautioned against further offending at that time.

In Port Adelaide Magistrates Court’s specialised Aboriginal sentencing court on November 14, 2017, the defendant was convicted of two counts of failing to provide adequate food. She received a 12-month good behaviour bond and was ordered to pay $706 in court and veterinary costs. She also received a 12-month ban on owning animals, plus an 18-month subsequent supervision order, allowing RSPCA inspectors to regularly check on the welfare of her animals after the ban.

Wattle Park woman pleads guilty to failing to provide care for elderly cat

A 55-year-old woman pleaded guilty in November 2017 to failing to provide veterinary care for her elderly cat Lightning, who was found at Wattle Park in a matted and emaciated state. When seized by RSPCA inspectors in September 2016, Lightning had a body score of just one out of nine, weighing a mere 2.3kg.

Lightning was also diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, dental disease and early onset kidney failure. After two weeks of veterinary care, Lightning sadly showed little sign of improvement. Given the high prospect of prolonging her suffering, veterinarians sadly decided to euthanase Lightning.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court on November 14, 2017, the defendant received a 12-month good behaviour bond, was given a two-year supervision order for her remaining cat Simba and Golden Retriever dog Archie, and was banned from owning any other animals for three years. She was also ordered to pay $3,608 in veterinary and court costs. The magistrate decided not to record a conviction.

Elizabeth Downs man and woman convicted of breaching animal ban

A 46-year-old man and 41-year-old woman pleaded guilty in November 2017 to failing to comply with court-ordered bans on owning animals. In 2016, a magistrate handed down the bans following two separate neglect prosecutions involving the seizure of dozens of animals.

A subsequent inspection of their Elizabeth Downs property by RSPCA officers in March 2017 found the couple had defied their ban and acquired a number of animals, including two dogs, seven rabbits and three cats. RSPCA seized all animals and they were subsequently adopted into new homes.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on November 13, 2017, the female defendant was convicted of breaching her 32A animal ban order, hindering an RSPCA inspector and breaching a good behaviour bond. She was fined $700 and ordered to pay $1,725 in veterinary and legal costs. She was also convicted of aggravated assault of an RSPCA inspector and given a three-month suspended jail sentence.

Meanwhile, the male defendant was convicted of hindering an inspector in the course of their duties and was fined $40, and ordered to pay $1,200 in veterinary and legal costs.

October 2017

Croydon Park woman convicted over emaciated dog

A 52-year-old woman pleaded guilty in October 2017 to ill treating her Staffy-cross dog Rusty, who was found at Croydon Park severely emaciated, weak and barely able to walk.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in March 2017, Rusty was also infested with fleas, had painful ear infections and severe dental disease. Rusty’s ongoing suffering was obvious. Our veterinarians determined that treating the infections and dental disease would result in even more suffering over an extended period, so we sadly decided to put him to sleep.

In the Adelaide Magistrates Court on October 3, 2017, the defendant was convicted of failure to provide appropriate and adequate food for her dog. She was ordered to pay veterinary costs, banned from owning animals indefinitely and issued a 12-month good behaviour bond.

September 2017

Morphett Vale man convicted of ill treating emaciated dog

A Morphett Vale man pleaded guilty in September 2017 to ill treating his American Staffy dog Rebel, who weighed just 20kg when seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in November 2016.

While in RSPCA care, Rebel gained 11.4kg – 55 per cent of his body weight. However, Rebel repeatedly displayed multiple severe behavioural problems, likely caused by his past treatment, which made him unsafe to rehome in the community. Sadly, he had to be euthanased.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on September 1, 2017, the defendant was convicted of failure to provide appropriate and adequate food for Rebel. He was banned from owning animals for two years and issued with a two-year good behaviour bond. The magistrate decided to reduce the financial penalty handed down to the defendant due to his financial position.

Man pleads guilty to failing to seek treatment for five sheep

A man pleaded guilty in September 2017 to failing to treat five sheep, which were found at Clare suffering serious wounds, large and infected tumours, and hernias.

RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended the property in October 2016 and immediately brought in veterinarians to help relieve the animals’ suffering. Sadly, due to the severity of their advanced conditions, vets deemed it necessary to euthanase all five sheep.

In Clare Magistrates Court on September 4, 2017 the defendant was convicted of failure to mitigate harm. He received an 18-month good behaviour bond and was ordered to pay $480 in veterinary costs. He received an 18-month ban on owning sheep.

Gilles Plains man convicted of ill treating emaciated dog

A man pleaded guilty in September 2017 to ill treating his Mastiff-cross dog Angel, who was found at Gilles Plains in a severely emaciated state and with a deep laceration to her left front leg.

After 6-year-old Angel was seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in March 2017, she gained 10kg while in foster care – about 30% of her body weight. However, despite attempts at specialist behavioural rehabilitation, Angel suffered multiple severe behavioural problems as a result of her past treatment, which made her unsafe to rehome in the community. Sadly, she had to be euthanased.

In the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on September 7, 2017, the defendant was convicted of failure to provide adequate and appropriate food. He was ordered to pay veterinary costs, issued with an 18-month good behaviour bond and banned from owning animals for two years.

Davoren Park man convicted of aggravated ill treatment after punching cat

A man pleaded guilty in September 2017 to causing serious harm by punching his mother’s cat Krystal in the head at Davoren Park. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in February 2017, Krystal’s left eye was severely damaged and beyond repair, and she also had fractured teeth and bruising to the mouth.

Veterinarians removed Krystal’s damaged eye and several broken upper teeth, then nursed her back to health. She was adopted into a new family in July 2017.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on September 7, 2017, the defendant was convicted of aggravated ill treatment. He received a four-month suspended sentence, was banned from owning animals for three years and was ordered to pay $3,310 in veterinarian and legal costs.

Elizabeth Park man and woman found guilty of failing to seek treatment for their dog

A 36-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman pleaded guilty in September 2017 to failing to seek veterinary treatment for their 15-year-old Bull Terrier dog Nackers.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors at Elizabeth Park in August 2016, Nackers was suffering from large and untreated ulcerated tumours, chronic skin issues, severe arthritis and malnutrition. Sadly, such was the extent and severity of Nackers’ condition – likely the result of gross neglect – that veterinarians had no option but to free him from suffering via humane euthanasia.

In the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on September 7, 2017, the defendants were found guilty, but the magistrate decided not to record a conviction. They were ordered to pay veterinary costs of $6,300 and banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Whyalla Norrie woman convicted over emaciated dog

A woman pleaded guilty in September 2017 to ill treating her Kelpie-cross dog Koora, who was found at Whyalla Norrie in an emaciated state.

After Koora was seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in June 2015, she recovered at RSPCA Lonsdale and was subsequently adopted into a new family.

In Whyalla Magistrates Court on September 19, 2017, the defendant was convicted of failing to provide appropriate and adequate food for her dog. She was ordered to pay compensation to the amount of $1,000, banned from owning animals indefinitely and issued with a 12-month good behaviour bond.

August 2017

Port Augusta man convicted over death of dog

A 27-year-old man pleaded guilty in August 2017 to aggravated ill treatment after an American Bulldog was found dead at Port Augusta. RSPCA South Australia inspectors found Coojo deceased in April 2017.

The defendant told inspectors he had been caring for Coojo for a friend for several months. A veterinary examination of Coojo’s body found no food present in his stomach. The cause of death was deemed to be malnutrition.

In Port Augusta Magistrates Court on August 1, 2017, the defendant was convicted of aggravated ill treatment. He received a three-month suspended sentence and a 18-month good behaviour bond. He was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Strathalbyn man jailed after poisoning neighbour’s dog

A man was immediately imprisoned in August 2017 after pleading guilty to beating his neighbour’s Golden Retriever dog Mia and poisoning her over a six-month period at Strathalbyn.

The defendant prepared sausages laced with lead shavings from fishing sinkers and placed them over his neighbour’s fence for Mia to access. The family was suspicious of Mia’s illness and installed cameras, which caught the defendant in the act. Mia survived the poisoning but requires ongoing medical treatment for the effects of lead poisoning.

In Mt Barker Magistrates Court on August 4, 2017, the defendant was convicted of all 14 counts of aggravated ill treatment. He received a three-month prison sentence, with one month served immediately and two months suspended. He also received a three-year good behaviour bond and was banned from owning animals for one year. He was ordered to pay $10,885 in compensation to Mia’s family and $1,258 in vet bills.

July 2017

Millicent man jailed over death of one dog and starvation of a second

A man was immediately imprisoned in July 2017 after pleading guilty to ill treatment charges after one dead Bull Mastiff-cross dog and one severely emaciated Ridgeback-cross dog were found on his Millicent property in January 20176.

A subsequent veterinarian examination of the dead dog’s body found no muscle mass and determined that starvation was the cause of death. The other dog, named Jester, was seized and placed in alternative care, where he made a full recovery.

In Mt Gambier Magistrates Court on July 21, 2017, the defendant was convicted of aggravated ill treatment for causing the death of one dog, and ill treatment of Jester. He was immediately jailed for four months and banned from owning any animals indefinitely.

Mt Bryan woman fined over sheep neglect

A woman pleaded guilty in July 2017 to two counts of animal neglect after failing to shear and de-lice a herd of 41 sheep at Mt Bryan and also failing to treat a sheep with flystrike. An RSPCA South Australia inspector attended the property in September 2016, and found the herd had not been shorn for 18 months to two years.

The defendant was issued with an animal welfare notice requiring her to shear the sheep. However, she failed to comply and the sheep were seized in November 2016 by RSPCA South Australia and treated. Sadly, one sheep had a severe case of flystrike and had to be euthanased.

In Clare Magistrates Court on July 3, 2017, the defendant was convicted of animal neglect. She received a $500 fine and was ordered to pay $1133 in veterinary and legal costs. She was also placed under an 18-month supervision order, which allows RSPCA inspectors to regularly check on the welfare of her animals.

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You truly can help us prevent this animal pain and suffering. Please, we urge you, take our pledge and join us in preventing and stopping animal cruelty.

Donate to our inspectors

We do receive some State Government funding to help run our inspectorate arm, but it’s not nearly enough. We believe this work is so important that we allocate another $1.5 million – at least! – each year to ensure our inspectors can investigate more animal cruelty reports.

It’s only with generous community donations that we can keep our inspectors on the road.