Animal cruelty case files: 2018/19

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Our small team of nine inspectors respond to more than 4,000 reports of animal cruelty across South Australia each year. The very worst of these cases proceed to prosecution in court.

Below you can read the results of all animal cruelty cases RSPCA South Australia prosecuted in 2018/19. Please remember, magistrates choose the penalty for offenders who have breached South Australia’s Animal Welfare Act – not RSPCA.

We urge you to stand with us and help stop animal suffering. Please take the pledge to Combat Cruelty in South Australia.

June 2019

Macclesfield man convicted for breaching animal ownership ban

A Macclesfield man pleaded guilty in June 2019 to breaching his court-ordered ban on owning animals.

The ban was first ordered in 2014, after the defendant was prosecuted for keeping 52 cats in squalid conditions. A magpie and galah were also seized as part of that case.

In December 2018, RSPCA South Australia inspectors received a report that the defendant had acquired more animals. Inspectors seized eight undesexed cats, many of which were semi-feral and had been living in squalor. Sadly, six of the cats had to be euthanased – some tested positive to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), one had a cancerous tumour and others were suffering from severe aggression and anxiety.

Two cats made a full recovery and were adopted into new homes.

In Mount Barker Magistrates Court on June 13, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to breaching an animal ownership ban and was given a two-year good behaviour bond. He was ordered to pay $160 in legal fees. His ban on owning any animals, aside from two cats, continues to stand.

Woodside woman convicted for chronic sheep neglect

A Woodside woman faced court in June following RSPCA SA investigation of a cruelty report relating to the sustained neglect of sheep on her hills property.

RSPCA South Australia inspectors first attended the property in July 2017 and found about 300 sheep in poor condition in a paddock, with various welfare concerns including overgrown fleeces and hooves. An Animal Welfare Notice was issued, ordering the defendant seek veterinary treatment for the sheep immediately. A second Animal Welfare Notice was issued a month later.

However, the defendant failed to seek the necessary treatment. In October 2017, RSPCA inspectors seized 261 sheep from the property. Attending veterinarians noted the sheep were suffering from a range of conditions, including lice, hardened faecal dags, blindness, flystrike, overgrown hooves, dermatitis and excessively long coats. Several animals had live maggots present and active in their skin and coats. Multiple sheep carcasses were also observed in the paddock.

All sheep were subsequently shorn, drenched, tagged and individually treated. Sadly, 62 sheep were either euthanased or died in the following days, as a result of their advanced condition and previous poor treatment. Once recovered, the surviving animals were later sold.

In Mount Barker Magistrate’s Court on June 13, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to the chronic neglect of sheep and was put on a 12-month good behaviour bond and ordered to attend to the care needs of three sheep. She was forbidden from acquiring any other animals other than the three sheep and one dog currently in her care, until further notice.

Port Noarlunga South woman convicted for failing to treat dog with enormous tumour

A 38-year-old Port Noarlunga South woman was convicted in June 2019 for failing to seek veterinary treatment for a dog with a large, ulcerated tumour.

The 9-year-old Mastiff cross Staffy, named Lucifer, was seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in August 2018.

He was suffering from a tumour that had caused severe disfigurement to his genitals, affecting his ability to pass urine. RSPCA’s Chief Veterinarian said the tumour was “the size of a rockmelon”. Sadly, Lucifer’s condition was so advanced that he stood no chance of recovery and he was humanely euthanased.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on June 5, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to mitigate harm to the dog. She received a good behaviour bond of $1000 and was banned from owning any animals, except one cat, two guinea pigs and a budgerigar already in her care.

May 2019

Seacombe Gardens woman receives suspended jail term for starving dog to near-death

A 22-year-old Seacombe Gardens woman received a two-month and 24-day suspended prison sentence in May 2019, after pleading guilty to starving her dog.

The animal ill treatment charge related to Butch, a 4-year-old American Staffordshire Bull Terrier found by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in July 2018. Butch was found near-death and lying inside a child’s play house in the backyard of a Seacombe Gardens house.

Butch was in such an emaciated state that he had the lowest possible body score of 0/9. His heartbeat was barely audible, he was gasping for breath and was suffering chronic diarrhoea. The attending RSPCA South Australia vet, who quickly made the decision that humane euthanasia was the only option, testified in court that the dog “would have been suffering greatly for at least a week, but possibly longer”.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court on May 23, 2019, the defendant was also ordered to pay $1,630 in legal, veterinary and pathology fees, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. A second co-accused woman also pleaded guilty to the animal neglect charge, with her case set for sentencing at a later date.

Bordertown woman convicted for third time after breaching ban on owning animals

A 32-year-old Bordertown woman was convicted in May 2019 for breaching a court-ordered ban on owning animals – her third court conviction for this offence.

The defendant was first banned from owning animals in February 2015, after RSPCA South Australia seized 16 animals from appalling conditions at her Moonta Bay property. In September 2016, following a report to RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty report hotline, the woman was convicted for breaching her ban after inspectors found seven animals on her Elizabeth Downs property.

Her second conviction again came following a report to RSPCA’s cruelty report hotline. Inspectors attended the defendant’s Bordertown property in August 2018. They seized 22 animals, including a pig, geese, ducks, guinea pigs, tortoises and ferrets. Four months later, RSPCA Inspectors were again informed that the defendant had acquired more animals. They again attended her property in December 2018 and seized three cats, two rabbits and a dog. All animals were subsequently rehomed.

In Murray Bridge Magistrates Court on May 6, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to breaching her animal ownership ban. She was convicted and ordered to pay a $400 fine. Her ban continues to stand indefinitely, and will continue to be enforced by RSPCA inspectors.

April 2019

Two brothers convicted for starving Rhodesian Ridgeback-cross dog

Two men pleaded guilty in April 2019 to failing to feed their Rhodesian Ridgeback-cross dog, Dozer.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in July 2018, Dozer was so emaciated that veterinarians gave him a body score of just 1 out of 9.

As Dozer began to recover, he was placed into foster care and regularly treated for an ongoing skin condition, while also receiving behavioural training to help deal with socialisation issues likely caused by being left alone for long periods as a young dog. In December 2018, Dozer’s foster carer officially adopted him.

In Mount Gambier Magistrates Court on April 9, 2019, the two brothers pleaded guilty to failing to provide Dozer with adequate food. They were convicted and ordered to pay $3,297 total in veterinary and legal costs. Both men were placed on 12-month good behaviour bonds and banned from owning animals indefinitely.

March 2019

Burton couple receive suspended jail terms for leaving dog to starve to death in backyard aviary

A Burton couple received 10-month suspended prison terms in March 2019, after pleading guilty to starving their dog to death.

The aggravated animal ill treatment charges related to the death of a 3-year-old Staffordshire Terrier cross dog called Boss. RSPCA inspectors attended a Burton property in June 2017, after a debt recovery business representative discovered the deceased dog following eviction of the previous tenants.

The aviary, located near the back door of the house, was closed and bolted. It contained no food, water or bedding. Dog faeces covered much of the ground. The deceased dog was taken away for autopsy, which confirmed the dog had only died recently and that starvation was the likely cause of death.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on March 21, 2019, the defendants were each given 10-month prison sentences (suspended on good behaviour bonds) and were both banned from owning any animals indefinitely.

Davoren Park woman pleads guilty to failing to feed two dogs

A Davoren Park woman pleaded guilty in March 2019 to failing to provide adequate food and water for two dogs, a Siberian Husky-cross named Marley (later renamed Wylie by his new owner) and a Terrier-cross named Roxy. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended the property in May 2016, they found both Roxy and Marley in emaciated and weak states. Both were chained in the backyard with little access to food or water.

Marley was close to death and collapsed shortly after being seized by RSPCA inspectors. Both dogs were rushed to an emergency vet, where Marley was placed on an IV drip overnight, saving his life.

While in RSPCA care and in-home foster care, Marley doubled his weight in just three months. In the same time period, Roxy more than doubled her weight. Roxy was adopted into a new family in November 2016, while Marley found his forever home in January 2017.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on March 21, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of ill treatment. She was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond and banned from owning any animals for five years. The Magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

February 2019

Edwardstown man convicted for ill treating dogs, puppies, canaries

An Edwardstown man was convicted in February 2019 for eight counts of animal ill treatment.

In December 2017, RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized three dogs, four puppies and a native skink from the defendant’s property. Two canaries were also found deceased in a backyard birdcage. All seven dogs were in poor condition, with little access to appropriate food.

Two dogs and all of the puppies made a full recovery and were adopted into forever homes. The third adult dog displayed severe signs of aggression and anxiety. Sadly, despite numerous attempts at behavioural modification, she continued to pose a danger to the community and had to be euthanased.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court on February 13, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to animal ill treatment. He was convicted and ordered to pay $200 in veterinary and legal costs. The defendant was also given a 12-month good behaviour bond and was banned from owning any animals for 12 months.

Guard dog business owner fined for failing to treat Rottweiler dog

A former guard dog business operator was fined in February 2019 for failing to take reasonable steps to alleviate the pain and suffering of an elderly Rottweiler dog.

The 11-year-old dog, named Benny, was suffering from severe and untreated arthritis when seized by an RSPCA South Australia inspector in May 2017. The inspector found Benny lying on the ground and barely able to lift his head.

Despite his disabled condition, Benny’s former owner was still using Rottweiler as a guard dog at a vacant Marleston commercial property on Adelaide’s west side. Sadly, a veterinary surgeon had no choice but to euthanase Benny on humane grounds a day after his seizure, freeing him from the pain he had endured for so long.

In Adelaide Magistrate’s Court in February 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty and was fined $1,500. He was also ordered to pay $3,225 in veterinary and legal costs. The magistrate banned the defendant from owning any animals indefinitely, aside from one companion dog, but opted not to record a conviction.

The defendant had been previously convicted and fined in November 2009, after being prosecuted by RSPCA South Australia for failing to treat another Rottweiler guard dog, which had been seized with a severe and ulcerated mammary tumour.

January 2019

Munno Para woman convicted for failing to treat dog’s chronic ear condition

A 22-year-old Munno Para woman was found guilty in January 2019 on charges of neglect and failing to mitigate harm in relation to her 4-year-old female Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross dog, Zara.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in October 2018, Zara had cancerous tumours filling both ear canals. As a result of chronic failure to obtain veterinary care, Zara was left almost totally deaf.

At the time of seizure, staff at RSPCA South Australia’s Lonsdale shelter initially did not realise Zara was again pregnant. She gave birth to 13 puppies on December 19, nine of which survived.

In the Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on January 30, 2019, Magistrate Cathy Delano convicted the defendant, who failed to appear, and fined her $800. The defendant was also ordered to pay veterinary and legal costs totalling $1500. She was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Hampstead Gardens man jailed over aggravated animal cruelty

A 19-year-old Hampstead Gardens man pleaded guilty in January 2019 to aggravated animal cruelty. SA Police called RSPCA South Australia inspectors to the man’s house in July 2018, following an incident they attended the night before. Inspectors found a deceased, mutilated dog at the Hampstead Gardens property.

In Adelaide District Court on January 25, 2019, Judge Sophie David described the attack as “abhorrent” and jailed the defendant for 12 months. She also banned the defendant from owning any animals indefinitely. The defendant also faced other charges from SA Police arising from the same incident.

Outside court, RSPCA prosecutor Damon Ind described the incident as one of the worst cases of violence against a pet that he had seen. “It was appalling, the level of violence. That dog would have been so panicked, so horrified at not being able to escape that attack,” Mr Ind said.

Woodcroft woman fined for failing to feed Boxer dog

A 26-year-old Woodcroft woman pleaded guilty in January 2019 to failing to provide adequate food to her Boxer-cross dog, Pluto.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in September 2018, 8-year-old Pluto was severely emaciated, weighing only 17.8kg. Veterinarians gave Pluto a body score of 1.5 out of 9. His body weight increased by 37% in three months.

After several months of rehabilitation, including placement in a foster care home, Pluto made a full recovery and was adopted into a new family in January 2019.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on January 17, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty, was fined $100 and was given a nine-month ban on owning any animals. She was also ordered to pay $1,891 in veterinary and legal costs. The Magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

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November 2018

Parafield Gardens woman pleads guilty to neglecting dog and cat

A 43-year-old Parafield Gardens woman pleaded guilty in November 2018 to neglecting a dog and a cat. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in December 2017, the Maltese-cross dog (named Puppy) was extremely weak on all four legs and unable to support himself for any period of time.

RSPCA veterinarians placed Puppy under a general anaesthetic ahead of a planned suite of diagnostic examinations and x-rays to define his illness. But sadly, Puppy passed away while under the anaesthetic. A subsequent x-ray suggested that his severe neurological disorder and possible heart disease may have caused his death. In an expert witness report, veterinarians stated that Puppy would likely have survived had he been presented for medical treatment earlier, before his condition became so severe.

Meanwhile, the cat, named Teddy, was suffering from a severe and malignant ear tumour, which had also been left untreated. Due to the advanced state of the cancerous tumour in his inner ear, which was inoperable, veterinarians had no choice but to euthanase Teddy.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on November 29, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of neglect. She was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $300 in legal costs. The Magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

Seaford woman pleads guilty to extreme neglect of her rabbit

A Seaford woman pleaded guilty in November 2018 to charges relating to the extreme neglect of her 1-year-old Angora cross rabbit.

The female rabbit was seized by an RSPCA South Australia inspector in October 2017 after it was discovered with fur so matted its hind legs were bound together.

The severely underweight animal had to be fully shorn and its badly overgrown and distorted claws clipped. Veterinarians then discovered and treated a small, open wound caused by its matted coat.

The rabbit was cared for by RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter staff for nine months. She sadly had to be euthanased in August this year due to aggressive cancer in the form of mammary tumours. (Mammary tumours are not uncommon in female rabbits.)

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on November 21, 2018, the defendant was fined $100 and prevented from owning any other animals for one year, apart for a dog and a cat already in her care. She was also ordered to pay $5,757 as compensation to RSPCA for legal, vet and shelter fees.

McCracken woman pleads guilty to failing to feed and provide clean living conditions for three Siamese cats

A 22-year-old McCracken woman pleaded guilty in November 2018 to failing to feed and provide clean water and living conditions for three Siamese cats.

RSPCA South Australia was alerted to the case in February this year, when a member of the public attended the property intending to buy a kitten and discovered a house strewn with faeces and rubbish.

Two RSPCA inspectors who investigated found three Siamese cats locked in small cages out the back, with no access to food or water and very dirty litter trays. The three cats were immediately seized and brought to RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter.

RSPCA veterinarians spent nine months caring for the three neglected Siamese cats – a mother named Grace and her adult kittens, Lyla and Simon – in an effort to bring them all back to health. All three bear ongoing scars from their past treatment, but were able to find new forever homes.

In Victor Harbour Magistrates Court on November 6, 2018 the defendant pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to provide adequate food, water and living conditions.

She was ordered to pay $4,700 in veterinary and legal costs, received a 12-month good behaviour bond and was banned from owning animals indefinitely, aside from one dog already in her care. The Magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

October 2018

Morphett Vale woman convicted for failing to feed two Huskies

A 25-year-old Morphett Vale woman pleaded guilty in October 2018 to failing to feed her two Siberian Husky dogs, Snoopy and Rocco.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in April 2018, both dogs were severely emaciated with body scores of just 1/9. While in the care of RSPCA’s shelter staff, both dogs quickly returned to health, increasing around 25% of their body weight within just a few weeks.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on October 25, 2018, the defendant was convicted on two counts of failing to provide adequate food. She received a $300 fine and was ordered to pay $2,200 in veterinary and legal costs.

In court, the defendant’s lawyer argued that Snoopy should be returned to the defendant due to her strong emotional attachment with the dog. The Magistrate allowed the return of Snoopy subject to the defendant taking Snoopy to a veterinarian every six months and provide the resulting vet reports to RSPCA.

Rocco, meanwhile, was placed on behaviour medication (which assists with lowering anxiety and other related behavioural issues) shortly after arriving in RSPCA care, due to high levels of stress and anxiety, likely caused by being poorly socialised by his former owner.

Sadly, despite attempts to rehabilitate Rocco with weeks or training, medication and specialist foster care, his mental state continued to deteriorate. Veterinarians eventually made the difficult decision to euthanase Rocco to free him from his suffering.

In court, the Magistrate banned the defendant from owning any animals other than Snoopy for an indefinite time period.

Known puppy and kitten dealer convicted for breaching animal ownership ban

Aldinga Beach man Gary Taylor was convicted in October 2018 for breaching a court-ordered ban on owning animals – marking the sixth time he has faced RSPCA prosecution.

A known puppy and kitten dealer, Taylor was given an indefinite ban on owning animals after RSPCA successfully prosecuted him for the fifth time in May 2016. Taylor was also convicted for failing to provide adequate living conditions for 11 cats and kittens, and failing to take steps to mitigate harm relating to three of those felines – one of which was found deceased.

In March 2018, the defendant was reported to have acquired more animals. RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended his property and conducted a routine check, where they found a cat named Simba in the defendant’s care. Simba was suffering cat flu and was also aggressive and fearful. Sadly, despite our vet team’s best efforts, he was euthanased.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on October 11, 2018, the defendant was convicted of breaching a Section 32A animal ownership ban. He was fined $200 and ordered to pay $1,290 in legal costs. His ban on owning animals remains in place.

September 2018

Davoren Park woman pleads guilty to neglecting old dog

A 48-year-old Davoren Park woman pleaded guilty in September 2018 to failing to mitigate harm to her Silky Terrier dog, Diesel. When seized in March 2018, Diesel was completely blind – his right eye had collapsed and his left eye was protruding and he was unable to close his eyelids. Due to severe dental disease and gingivitis, Diesel had also lost all but two teeth.

When Diesel arrived at RSPCA Lonsdale, he was in such a distressed state that veterinarians operated immediately in an attempt to reduce his pain and suffering. Vets removed Diesel’s left eye and also treated his right eye while under anaesthetic. But in the days post-surgery Diesel continued to display extreme signs of distress and anxiety. Given his ongoing suffering and poor prognosis, the sad decision was made to euthanase him on humane grounds.

At Elizabeth Magistrates Court on September 25, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to mitigate harm. She received a four-month good behaviour bond and was ordered to pay $750 in veterinary and court costs. She was banned from owning any animals indefinitely, apart from one dog already in her care. The Magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

Goolwa Beach family convicted for neglect and breaching animal ownership ban

A Goolwa Beach couple and their adult son pleaded guilty in September 2018 to neglecting three animals and breaching a court-ordered animal ownership ban.

The three defendants were originally convicted in November 2016, after RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized three German Shepherd dogs and a cat from filthy and squalid living conditions. The animals were suffering a range of conditions including ear infections, skin infections and dental disease. Under the care of RSPCA South Australia’s veterinary team, two of the dogs recovered and were adopted into new homes. Sadly the third dog was suffering such chronic health problems caused by neglect that he had to be euthanased. In court, the three defendants received fines ranging between $2,800 and $5,600, were ordered to pay veterinary and legal costs, and were all banned from owning animals indefinitely, aside from one cat already in their care.

RSPCA inspectors returned to the property in September 2017 after receiving a report and found the defendants had breached their court-ordered ban by acquiring another German Shepherd dog and two cats. Inspectors seized all three animals from filthy conditions; all were suffering flea infestations and dental disease. One elderly cat named Bubble sadly had to be euthanased due to acute renal failure. But the other cat, named Razor, was adopted into a new family on December 2017. Mishka the dog was adopted into a new family in January 2018.

In Victor Harbour Magistrates Court on September 4, 2018, the three defendants were convicted of neglect, failing to provide adequate living conditions and breaching a Section 32A animal ownership ban. They were each fined $100, and ordered to pay a total of $600 in legal costs. The Magistrate opted not to impose a higher penalty due to the defendants’ level of poverty and ill health.

August 2018

Mount Barker woman pleads guilty to neglecting elderly horse

A 41-year-old Mount Barker woman pleaded guilty in August 2018 to neglecting her 19-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Woody. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in June 2016, Woody was in skeletal condition. A veterinarian who attended the scene gave Woody a body score of 0 out of 5, the lowest possible score.

After removing Woody’s winter rug, the veterinarian reported “a putrid smell … examination revealed a weeping pressure sore on the point of his wither”, where the rug had rubbed due to Woody’s emaciated body condition. He was also suffering from overgrown and diseased hooves, swollen legs he could barely walk on, and neglected teeth.

After seizure, Woody was placed with non-profit group Windamere Horse Haven, where he thrived under a nutritious diet and proper stabling conditions.

In Mount Barker Magistrates Court on August 30, 2018, the defendant was given a six-month good behaviour bond, ordered to pay $600 in legal and veterinary costs, and banned from owning any horses not already in her care for six months. The Magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

Man of no fixed abode given suspended jail term for killing small dog

A 29-year-old man pleaded guilty in August 2018 to punching a small dog, causing its death.

In May 2017, police found a deceased dog in a car during a routine traffic stop in Adelaide’s CBD. After interviewing the defendant, he admitted punching the small 5kg dog twice, with sufficient force to cause fatal injuries. A pathology report likened the dog’s injuries to the impact of a motor vehicle.

Police handed the case over to RSPCA South Australia’s inspectorate for prosecution. During the proceedings, the defendant testified that he punched the dog after the dog nipped him twice.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court on August 27, 2018, the defendant was convicted of unnecessarily causing harm. He was given a 14-week suspended jail sentence, issued with a 12-month good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $300 in legal costs. He was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Milang woman pleads guilty to ill treating 10 animals

A Milang woman pleaded guilty in August 2018 to ill-treating five cats, three rats, a rabbit and a budgerigar.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in March 2017, the animals were living in squalid and filthy conditions. The cats were covered in fleas and the other animals were all in poor condition. Most were housed in very small cages without bedding or proper food bowls.

Sadly, the two kittens had to be euthanased, as both failed to respond to treatment for chlamydia and herpes. The three rats also had to be euthanased as they were suffering a chronic and untreatable respiratory disease. The three adult cats, together with the rabbit and budgie, were all adopted into new homes.

In Mount Barker Magistrates Court on August 30, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of ill treatment and one count of hindering an inspector. She was given a 15-month good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $1,200 in veterinary and legal costs. The Magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

She was also banned from owning any animals aside from four cats, four birds and 10 chickens already in her care. (The defendant had provided evidence of improving the animals’ living conditions, and had also desexed, vaccinated and microchipped her cats.)

Clearview man convicted for breaching animal ownership ban

A 32-year-old Clearview man pleaded guilty in August 2018 to failing to comply with a court-ordered ban on owning animals.

In May 2011, a magistrate had handed down the indefinite ban. It followed an RSPCA South Australia prosecution in which the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to provide appropriate food and water to a Staffordshire cross dog named Mazza. The defendant was also fined $500 and ordered to pay $237 in veterinary costs.

In February 2018, RSPCA South Australia received a report of a thin dog seen at the defendant’s house. When inspectors attended the property, they discovered a black Kelpie-cross dog named Pepper in lean condition, without adequate food and water. After investigation, inspectors applied for a warrant to search the property, seizing Pepper in April 2018. He was adopted into a new family shortly after.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court on August 28, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to breaching his Section 32A prohibition order. He received a $300 fine and was ordered to pay $300 in legal costs. The animal ownership ban order remains in place indefinitely.

Christies Beach man convicted for breaching animal ownership ban

A Christies Beach man was convicted in August 2018 for failing to comply with a court-ordered ban on owning animals. In April 2018, a magistrate had handed down the indefinite ban following an RSPCA South Australia prosecution in which the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to prevent harm to his Red Heeler-cross dog Axel, which had a severe and untreated tail and anal wound.

In May 2018, RSPCA inspectors returned to the property and found another Red Heeler-cross dog named Jack in the backyard. While Jack was in reasonable health, he was obviously receiving minimal care or socialisation, and was living in a yard strewn with faeces. After RSPCA seizure, Jack was placed in foster care but, despite several months of specialist behavioural rehabilitation, he showed strong signs of aggression and was not able to be safely handled. Sadly, as Jack posed a danger to humans, he was euthanased.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on August 23, 2018, the defendant was convicted of breaching his Section 32A prohibition order. He received a $100 fine and was ordered to pay $300 in legal costs. The animal ownership ban remains in place indefinitely.

O’Sullivan Beach woman convicted for breaching animal ownership ban

A 28-year-old O’Sullivan Beach woman was convicted in August 2018 for failing to comply with a court-ordered ban on owning animals. In July 2017, a magistrate handed down the indefinite ban following an ill treatment prosecution in which defendant Ariel Somers pleaded guilty to failing to treat a cat with a broken front leg.

In April 2018, as part of a routine court order compliance check by RSPCA South Australia inspectors, Somers was found to have two Sharpei-cross dogs named Otis and Yoshi in her care. Both dogs were immediately seized by RSPCA inspectors. Due to aggressive behaviour, Otis had a council-imposed Control (Dangerous Dog) Order, making him unsafe to rehome.

Despite ongoing attempts at specialist behavioural intervention over a four-month period, Yoshi also exhibited aggressive and unsafe behaviour. This unacceptable threat to community safety resulted in the sad decision to euthanase him in August 2018.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on August 16, 2018, defendant Ariel Somers was convicted of breaching her Section 32A prohibition order. She received a $200 fine. The order remains in place indefinitely.

Elderly Salisbury man pleads guilty to failing to feed livestock

An 85-year-old Salisbury man pleaded guilty in August 2018 to failing to feed and provide care for 20 sheep, 7 cows, 9 rabbits and 35 chickens. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors first attended the property in November 2016, they found many animals crowded in small and dirty enclosures with minimal access to food and water. One sheep was unable to stand and an attending veterinarian determined that the humane option was immediate euthanasia.

RSPCA South Australia inspectors first attempted to work with the defendant and educate him on his diminished ability to care for animals due to his frail health. Inspectors also worked to educate the defendant’s son, who helped sell some animals and clean up the property. However, one month later, RSPCA received a report that the defendant was acquiring more animals.

With the assistance of family members and the council, the animals were removed from the property. Inspectors opted to prosecute the matter, only in order to secure an order restricting the number and type of animals the defendant could legally own.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on August 2, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to neglect, failing to mitigate harm and failing to provide adequate food and water. He received a two-year good behaviour bond and was banned from owning all livestock indefinitely.

July 2018

Seaford man and woman convicted of failing to feed Staffy-cross dog

A Seaford man and woman pleaded guilty in July 2018 to failing to feed and provide care for their Staffordshire Terrier-cross dog Ruby.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in July 2017, Ruby was severely emaciated, with a body weight score of just 1/9. Ruby weighed just 11.9kg when seized, and put on 73% of her body weight in three weeks. Ruby also had damaged teeth, a scaly coat and hyperextension injuries in her paws, likely caused by poor nutrition.

Ruby spent two months at RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter receiving specialist rehabilitative care. She was adopted into a new family in September 2017. She still requires ongoing medication to keep her skin condition under control.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on July 26, 2018, the defendants were convicted of failing to provide adequate food and water, and failing to provide adequate living conditions. Each defendant was fined $250 and ordered to pay $422 in veterinary and legal costs. Both were also banned from owning animals indefinitely.

Angaston woman convicted for long-term neglect of Rottweiler dog

An Angaston woman was convicted of animal cruelty in July 2018 and handed a court-imposed ban on owning animals, for long-term neglect of her Rottweiler Tex.

In December 2017, RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized 8-year-old Tex, as the owner had failed to comply with legal direction to seek much-needed vet treatment. An inspector on the case described Tex’s condition as one of the worst cases of chronic animal neglect she had ever witnessed.

Despite the best efforts from our veterinarians and external specialists, along with months of care in our shelter and via our foster carers, Tex’s years of neglect had caused irreversible damage. Sadly, there was no other option but to free Tex from pain, so he was humanely euthanased.

The defendant was prosecuted by RSPCA South Australia on July 19, 2018. She was found guilty and convicted of failure to mitigate harm and failure to comply with an animal welfare notice. She received a 12-month good behaviour bond, was banned from owning any animals indefinitely and ordered to pay $1,752 in legal and vet fees.

Hahndorf man convicted after failing to seek vet treatment for Irish Wolfhound-cross

A 64-year-old Hahndorf man pleaded guilty in July 2018 to failing to seek veterinary treatment for his Irish Wolfhound-cross dog Azora.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors on May 2016, Azora was severely ill and almost unable to move. She had a large cancerous mass protruding from her right front shoulder and a badly ulcerated tumour on her left hind leg.

Azora was rushed to an after-hours emergency veterinarian but, due to the severe effects of gross neglect, she was unable to be saved and was humanely euthanased. Subsequent pathology testing revealed significant stomach ulcers, likely caused by the owner self-medicating the dog with painkillers intended for humans, not dogs.

In Mount Barker Magistrates Court on July 5, 2018 the defendant Lai Jane was convicted of failing to mitigate harm. He was given a 12-month good behaviour bond, ordered to pay $1391 in veterinary and legal costs, and banned from owning dogs – aside from two already in his care – for two years.

Mt Barker man convicted for failing to feed Staffordshire Terrier dog

A 33-year-old Mt Barker man pleaded guilty in July 2018 to failing to feed his Staffordshire Terrier-cross dog Hally. When RSPCA South Australia inspectors first attended the defendant’s property in July 2016, they found Hally in a thin condition. The defendant was issued with an Animal Welfare Notice, ordered to take Hally to the vet and instructed to provide better quality food.

However, when inspectors returned, the defendant had not complied and Hally’s condition had deteriorated. She was immediately seized, weighing just 14kg. Within seven weeks she regained 46% of her body weight.

However, as a result of her past treatment and lack of socialisation, Hally displayed multiple behaviour problems, including aggression towards her handlers. Sadly, despite attempts at rehabilitative training, she was deemed too great a risk to the community and was euthanased in November 2016.

In Mount Barker Magistrates Court on July 5, 2018, the defendant was convicted of failing to provide adequate food. He was fined $150 and ordered to pay $1340 in veterinary, shelter and legal costs.

Victor Harbor couple plead guilty to failing to feed two dogs

A Victor Harbor man and woman pleaded guilty in July 2018 to neglecting their two dogs, a Staffy-cross named Scooby and Hungarian-Vizsla cross named Ruby. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in June 2017, both dogs were severely emaciated.

Ruby weighed just 12kg, and more than doubled her body weight in 35 days to 26kg. Scooby weighed just 28.8kg and increased his body weight by 25 per cent in the same time period. However, both Ruby and Scooby suffered from a chronic and severe skin disease, which left both dogs in constant pain and distress. Despite ongoing attempts at veterinary treatment, both dogs failed to show any marked improvement. Sadly, Scooby and Ruby were euthanased on July 24, 2017.

In Victor Harbor Magistrates Court on July 5, 2018, the defendants pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate food and failing to mitigate harm to the two dogs. They were each fined $150, and ordered to pay $1300 in veterinary, shelter and legal costs. The Magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

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