Animal cruelty case files: 2019/20

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Our small team of seven inspectors responds 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 2019/20. 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.

May 2020

Couple convicted for abandoning 10 cats, 1 dog       

A 46-year old man and a 48-year-old woman from regional South Australia  received an 18-month good behaviour bond in May 2020, after pleading guilty to two counts of animal ill-treatment for abandoning 11 animals and failing to provide them with adequate food, water and oversight.

In January 2019, RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized 10 cats from the defendants’ property after reports that they had been left without food, water and care for a period of 7 days. The cats were living in a state of squalor inside the defendants’ property, with overflowing litter trays and no food or water available. Once in RSPCA’s care, all 10 cats found new homes.
 

In February 2019, RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized a one-year-old dog, after reports that he had been left without food, water and care for a period of 20 days. The dog was living outside, under the defendants’ property, without access to food or water. When taken into RSPCA’s care, the dog demonstrated complex behavioural issues as a result of long-term neglect. Despite months of behavioural intervention and attempts at rehabilitation, the dog’s  behavioural problems were unable to be resolved. Unfortunately, he could not be safely rehomed and was humanely euthanased.

In May 2020, the defendants were convicted of two counts of animal ill-treatment and given an 18-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $500. They were ordered to pay RSPCA South Australia $999 in legal, veterinary and boarding fees. The magistrate also prohibited the defendants from owing animals indefinitely.

Woman convicted for failing to treat dog’s severe entropion condition      

A 31-year-old woman from regional South Australia  received an 18-month good behaviour bond in May 2020, after pleading guilty to charges of animal ill-treatment for failing to seek much-needed veterinary care for entropion for her Mastiff cross dog.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in July 2019, the nine-month-old dog was in severe pain and discomfort from her untreated entropion condition, where her eyelids rolled inward.  While in RSPCA’s care, she had corrective surgery to fix her eyelids and made a full recovery. She has since been rehomed. 
 

In May 2020, the defendant was convicted of animal ill-treatment and given an 18-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $500. The defendant was ordered to pay RSPCA South Australia $3385 in legal, veterinary and boarding fees. The magistrate  also prohibited the defendant from owning animals indefinitely, with the exception of one dog, subject to strict conditions and 5 years of supervision from RSPCA. 

March 2020

Riverland woman convicted for starving two dogs, leaving one with ingrown and infected claw    

A 42-year-old Riverland woman received a two-year good behaviour bond in March 2020, after pleading guilty to charges of animal ill-treatment for failing to provide adequate food and water to two Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross dogs. The defendant also pleaded guilty to the neglect of one dog for failing to seek veterinary care. 

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in April 2019, both dogs were severely emaciated. The ten-year-old dog weighed 13.5kg, with a BCS (body condition score) of 1 out of 9. Her joints were swollen and restricted due to arthritis. As the result of long term neglect, she also had a severely ingrown and infected dew claw, which had penetrated the skin of her left leg. After weeks of specialist treatment in the care of RSPCA, the dog’s quality of life failed to improve and she was humanely euthanased on medical welfare grounds.

The five-year-old dog weighed 13.8kg, and gained 66% of his body weight in the care of RSPCA. He has since been rehomed.

In March 2020, the defendant was convicted of animal ill-treatment and given a two-year good behaviour bond in the sum of $1000. The defendant was ordered to pay RSPCA South Australia $3761 in legal, veterinary and boarding fees and was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

February 2020

Northern-areas man given suspended prison sentence for starving two dogs   

A 47-year-old Northern-areas man received a two-week suspended prison sentence in February 2020, after pleading guilty to charges of animal ill-treatment for failing to provide adequate food and water to his two dogs.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in June 2019, both dogs were severely emaciated. Four-year-old McGee weighed just 10.88kg with a BCS (body condition score) of 0.5 out of 9. The Rhodesian Ridgeback cross was extremely weak, with bones protruding and a low body temperature due to his inability to keep warm. In the care of RSPCA, McGee gained 116% of his body weight in 2 months. He has since been rehomed.

The other, three-year-old dog weighed just 4.1kg with a BCS of 1 out of 9. In the care of RSPCA, the Terrier cross gained 100% of her body weight in less than 2 months. She has since been rehomed. During the RSPCA inspectors’ visit to the defendant’s property, the defendant also surrendered 14 cats into the care of RSPCA, all of whom have since been rehomed.

In a country Magistrates Court in February 2020, the defendant was sentenced to two weeks imprisonment, suspended upon entry into a nine-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $400. The defendant was ordered to pay RSPCA South Australia $735 in legal and veterinary fees and was banned from owning animals indefinitely, with the exception of four cats already in his care. The magistrate ordered that RSPCA would maintain supervision over these cats for two years.  

Woman given suspended prison sentence for severely neglecting cavaliers 

A woman from regional South Australia received a three-month suspended prison sentence in February 2020, after pleading guilty to charges of ill-treating her four Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in May 2019, all four dogs were suffering multiple health ailments including severely matted and dreadlocked coats, ear infections, mouth infections and ingrown nails. The nails on one dog were so overgrown they had rotated and begun to grow out laterally, while an overgrown nail on another dog had pierced the footpad, resulting in an infection.

Two of the dogs required the extraction of more than 20 rotten teeth each, and all four required intensive veterinary care. After months in foster care, all four dogs were adopted into new homes.

In a regional Magistrates Court in February 2020, the defendant was sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended upon entry into a two-year good behaviour bond in the sum of $500. The magistrate ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $13,191 in legal, veterinary and boarding fees. The defendant was banned from owning animals for five years.

Northern-suburbs woman convicted for leaving emaciated dog with matted coat and flea burden

A northern-suburbs woman was convicted of ill-treating an animal in February 2020, after pleading guilty to failing to mitigate harm to her Silky Terrier.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in August 2018, the Terrier was severely emaciated, with a matted coat and flea burden. He weighed only 3.48kg with a BCS (body condition score) of 0.5 out of 9. In the care of RSPCA, the eight-year-old dog gained 84% of his body weight in 3 months. After having his coat clipped and receiving treatment for a flea infestation, he recovered to full health and was rehomed.

In February 2020, the defendant was given an 18-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $500 and ordered her to pay RSPCA South Australia $1514 in legal and veterinary fees. The defendant was banned from owning animals indefinitely, with the exception of one cat already in her care. The magistrate ordered that RSPCA would maintain supervision over this cat for 18 months. 

January 2020

Roseworthy woman given suspended sentence for failing to treat massive tumour on dog’s leg 

A Roseworthy woman received a seven-day suspended prison sentence in January 2020, after pleading guilty to charges of failing to mitigate harm to her Mastiff cross dog, named Vince. 

RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized seven-year-old Vince in October 2018 after his owner failed to comply with a legally enforceable Animal Welfare Notice requiring that Vince receive veterinary care. Vince had a large, malignant and ulcerated tumour on his hind leg. The tumour had been left to grow so large and spread to such an extent that it was sadly deemed inoperable, and Vince was humanely euthanased.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court in January, 2020, the defendant appeared before Magistrate Nitschke, where the court heard the defendant could not afford veterinary treatment and was instead resorting to home treatment. The defendant received a seven-day prison term, suspended on a two-year good behaviour bond in the sum of $500.  She was ordered to pay RSPCA South Australia $3832 in veterinary fees and was banned from owning animals indefinitely, with the exception of one dog already in her care. His Honour ordered that RSPCA would maintain supervision over this dog for two years.

Western-suburbs woman convicted of animal ill-treatment for starving two dogs

A 45-year-old western-suburbs woman was convicted of animal ill-treatment in January 2020, after pleading guilty to charges of failing to provide adequate food to her two dogs for an extended period. The charges related to two Staffordshire Terrier cross dogs.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in July 2018, both dogs were emaciated. One weighed only 9.5kg with a BCS (body condition score) of 1 out of 9. In the care of RSPCA, this dog gained 112% of her body weight in 3 months and has since been rehomed.

The other dog was severely underweight with a BCS of 1.5 out of 9. Within 3 months of RSPCA’s care, he gained 74% of his weight. However, his previous prolonged mistreatment led him to demonstrate complex behavioural problems that were unable to be resolved. Unfortunately, despite a long period of behavioural intervention and attempts at rehabilitation, this dog was unable to be safely rehomed and he was humanely euthanased.

In January 2020, the defendant was convicted of animal ill-treatment and given a two-year good behaviour bond in the sum of $2000. The magistrate also ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $7893 in legal, veterinary and animal care fees.

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December 2019

First immediate jail term since 2018 handed down to Williamstown man and woman who neglected 100 animals

Two defendants from Williamstown each received a sentence of one-month imprisonment in December 2019, following guilty pleas to the ill-treatment of 100 animals who had been kept in squalid and cramped living conditions. This was the first non-suspended jail term handed down in an RSPCA South Australia prosecution case since April 2018.

The 68-year-old male defendant pleaded guilty to ill-treating 45 birds. The 64-year-old female defendant pleaded guilty to ill-treating 45 animals including rabbits, chickens and ducks, in addition to a charge of Hindering an Inspector. Both defendants also pleaded guilty to ill-treatment of 10 alpacas and llamas found in emaciated condition.

When RSPCA South Australia Inspectors attended the co-defendants’ property in December 2017, they found multiple animals in filthy and cramped conditions with no access to food or water. Some enclosures contained the decomposing bodies of deceased animals. A total of 136 animals were seized and taken into RSPCA South Australia’s care. The majority of the animals recovered and were subsequently rehomed.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court on December 20, 2019, both defendants appeared before Magistrate White and pleaded guilty to animal ill-treatment. The male defendant was sentenced to six months imprisonment, with one month to be served immediately and five months suspended upon entry into a bond to be of good behaviour for a period of 12 months. The female defendant received a sentence of 120 days imprisonment, with one month to be served immediately and the remainder suspended upon entry into 12-month good behaviour bond. His Honour stated that he distinguished between the co-defendants on the basis that the female defendant was in worse health. Both defendants were banned from owning animals indefinitely, and ordered to surrender three cats in their care.

Waterloo Corner man given suspended jail term for neglecting blind and deaf dog

A 54-year-old Waterloo Corner man received a six-month and two-week suspended prison sentence in December 2019, after pleading guilty to charges of failing to mitigate harm to an elderly Fox Terrier cross in his custody and control, named Brandy.

When RSPCA South Australia inspectors attended the defendant’s property in August 2017, they found Brandy inside a fenced enclosure strewn with faeces within the property’s backyard. Brandy was suffering significant medical issues, and she was immediately transported to RSPCA South Australia’s veterinary clinic at Lonsdale.

Brandy’s issues included an enlarged eye, a collapsed eye, an ingrown and infected toe-nail (causing an abscess), advanced periodontal disease, bilateral ear infections and roundworm infestation. Sadly, given Brandy’s pain and poor prognosis, euthanasia was deemed the only humane option.

In Elizabeth Magistrates Court in December, 2019, the defendant appeared before Magistrate Nitschke and pleaded guilty to animal ill-treatment. He was given a six-month and two-week prison term, suspended on a good behaviour bond in the sum of $500, and was banned from owning any animals indefinitely. His Honour also ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $3950 in legal and veterinary costs.

October 2019

Woman pleads guilty to ill-treating dogs, puppies, lizard

A 20-year-old woman from Adelaide’s southern suburbs received a 12-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $500 in October 2019, -after pleading guilty to multiple 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. All seven dogs were in poor condition.

Two dogs and all of the puppies made full recoveries and were rehomed. 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 was humanely euthanased.

In October 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to animal ill-treatment. She was banned from owning any animals for 6 months. The magistrate also ordered the defendant to pay $100 in legal costs.

Adelaide Hills woman convicted of animal ill-treatment for starving three horses

A 52-year-old woman received a 3-year good behaviour bond in the sum of $1000 in October 2019, after pleading guilty to charges of ill-treatment of three horses.

The charges related to three horses. When RSPCA South Australia Inspectors attended the defendant’s property in August 2017, all animals had been left without access to adequate food and water for a number of weeks. Each horse was in an emaciated state, with an average BCS (body condition score) of 1.5 out of 9.

One of the horses, a Pinto mare, was suffering from severe colic that rendered her too weak to stand. The 2-year-old lay on the ground, unable to move or lift her head. Sadly, due to her suffering, distress and poor likelihood of recovery, the attending veterinarian decided that immediate euthanasia was the most humane option.

The other two horses were taken to the Fairview Lodge Animal Rescue Shelter where they received immediate treatment. Unfortunately, despite Fairview Lodge’s best efforts at rehabilitation, one of the horse’s suffering was so severe that the only option was humane euthanasia. The other horse made a full recovery.

In October 2019, the defendant was convicted and banned from owning horses indefinitely. The magistrate also ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $376 in legal fees.

Mount Barker man convicted of animal ill-treatment for starving horse and failing to treat donkey’s serious injury from ill-fitting halter

A Mount Barker man received an 18-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $200 in October 2019, after pleading guilty to charges of ill-treatment of two animals.

The charges related to a horse named Cory and a donkey named Thelma. When seized by RSPCA South Australia Inspectors in February 2019, both animals were in poor condition. Cory the horse was in an emaciated state and had serious untreated dental issues. The 18-year-old’s dental issues had caused a significant sinus infection, which required treatment from a specialist equine dentist.

Thelma the donkey was found with a halter on her face fitted so tightly that it had embedded her skin and left deep wounds to her throat and head. The halter required surgical removal with Thelma under anaesthesia. She required extensive veterinary care to recover from these wounds. The 10-year-old’s coat was heavily infested with parasites, while her teeth and hooves also showed clear evidence of chronic long-term neglect. 

Both animals made full recoveries under the expert care of two RSPCA rescue partners, Windarra Park Vet Clinic and Lincoln Park Horse and Human Rehabilitation Centre. Cory made such an impression on the team at Lincoln Park that they decided to keep him as one of their permanent residents. Thelma has also been rehomed.

In October 2019, the defendant appeared in Mount Barker Magistrates Court. His access issues to attend to the animals’ care needs were noted. He was convicted and banned from owning animals for 5 years, with the exception of 2 dogs and 1 cat already in his care. The magistrate also ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $7510 in legal and veterinary fees.

Mount Gambier man pleads guilty to securing cable tie around young dog’s muzzle

A 48-year-old Mount Gambier man pleaded guilty to animal ill-treatment in October 2019, after securing a plastic cable tie around the mouth of his 11-month-old German Shepherd, Chloe.

The Court heard that on March 9 2019, members of the public alerted both RSPCA South Australia and Mount Gambier police to a dog that was lying down, tethered in the backyard of a home, with a cable tie around her muzzle. Upon realising that the animal appeared not able to breathe naturally and to be in distress, a member of the public rescued the dog and removed the cable tie. Chloe was then provided with water, which she drank constantly for a long period. She also climbed into a plastic clam shell full of water and lay down. The temperature in Mount Gambier at the time Chloe was rescued was between 23C and 25C. Chloe recovered from her ordeal and has since been rehomed.

In Mount Gambier Magistrates Court in October, 2019, the defendant appeared before Magistrate Fahey. He was given a 15-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $200, and banned from owning animals for 2 years. Magistrate Fahey also ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $1600 in legal and veterinary fees. His Honour decided not to record a conviction due to the defendant’s remorse, early guilty plea and lack of prior offending.

Woman convicted of animal ill-treatment for leaving 10 animals in squalid living conditions

A woman from regional South Australia received a three-year good behaviour bond in October 2019, after pleading guilty to the ill-treatment of 10 animals.

RSPCA South Australia had previously prosecuted the defendant for animal ill-treatment in April 2017. As a result of this prosecution, the defendant was under a supervision order whereby RSPCA inspectors had powers to monitor the animals in her care. Throughout this period, RSPCA Inspectors frequently worked with the defendant in an attempt to educate her on correct animal care and living conditions. Unfortunately, in November 2018, the conditions of the defendant’s animals had significantly deteriorated.

RSPCA inspectors seized seven cats, two dogs and one turtle from the defendant’s property. All animals had been left unattended for three days in squalid living conditions with little access to appropriate food and water. The two dogs were confined to a tiny laundry with no food or water, while all cats had ear mites. The cats were contained in different rooms throughout the house, surrounded by overflowing litter trays and piles of faeces. One heavily pregnant cat was confined to the bathroom, without access to food, water or litter.

All seven cats and the tortoise made full recoveries and were rehomed. Three months prior to seizure, both dogs were subject to dangerous dog control orders by the council because they had attacked and killed another animal. Sadly, they were unable to be safely rehomed, and were humanely euthanased.

In October 2019, the defendant was convicted of animal ill-treatment and given a three-year good behaviour bond in the sum of $500. The magistrate declined to order a term of imprisonment due to the defendant’s mental health issues. The defendant was also ordered to pay $5542 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning all animals indefinitely.

 

September 2019

Woman convicted of animal ill-treatment for starving two dogs

A western-suburbs woman was convicted of animal ill-treatment in September 2019, after pleading guilty to charges of failing to provide adequate food and shelter to her two dogs for an extended period. The charges related to a Rottweiler and a Terrier cross.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in June 2017, both dogs were emaciated. The Rottweiler was so weak from emaciation, with a BCS (body condition score) of 1.5 out of 9, that inspectors had to carry him to the car. In the care of RSPCA, this dog gained 80% of his body weight in 2 months. However, a severe lack of socialisation led him to demonstrate unsafe behaviour toward humans and animals. Unfortunately, despite a long period of behavioural intervention and attempts at rehabilitation, this dog was unable to be safely rehomed and was humanely euthanased.

The Terrier cross had a significant flea burden, skin disease and dental disease, and was underweight with a BCS of 2 out of 9. In the care of RSPCA, this dog gained 41% of her body weight. While in foster care for a number of months, she received treatment for her skin and teeth and made a full recovery. She has since been rehomed.

In September 2019, the defendant was given a 15-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $1500, and banned from owning animals indefinitely. The magistrate also ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $1975 in legal and veterinary fees.

Woman convicted of animal ill-treatment for starving dog

A woman from regional South Australia was convicted of animal ill-treatment in September 2019, after pleading guilty to charges of failing to provide adequate food to her Siberian Husky.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in April 2019, the dog had been left without access to adequate food and water for a number of days and was emaciated with a BCS (body condition score) of 1 out of 9. In the care of RSPCA, the dog gained 87% of his body weight, made a full recovery and was rehomed.

In September 2019, the defendant was given a 12-month good behaviour bond in the sum of $200 and banned from owning animals indefinitely. His Honour declined to order costs due to the defendant’s limited financial means.

Huntfield Heights woman given suspended jail term for failing to treat dog’s enormous tumour

A 42-year-old Huntfield Heights woman received a three-week suspended prison sentence in September 2019, after pleading guilty to charges of failing to mitigate harm to her American Pit Bull Terrier cross, Buster.

Seven-year-old Buster was found wandering as a stray in January 2018 with a large, ulcerated tumour in his groin and taken to RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter. He was also in an emaciated condition, with a BCS (body condition score) of 2.5 out of 9. The tumour had caused severe disfigurement to the dog’s genitals, affecting his ability to pass urine. The treating veterinarian testified that, given its size, the tumour would have been present for at least 6-12 months. Sadly, the tumour was so large and deep that it was deemed inoperable, and Buster was humanely euthanased.

In Christies Beach Magistrates Court on September, 2019, the defendant appeared before Magistrate Harrap. She was given a three-week prison term, suspended on a 12-month good behaviour bond, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. His Honour also ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $1300 in legal and veterinary fees.

August 2019

Woman convicted of animal ill-treatment for abandoning her dog for 6 days

A 23-year-old woman from Adelaide’s southern suburbs pleaded guilty in August 2019 to ill-treatment of her Rhodesian Ridgeback cross dog, whom she abandoned for 6 days.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in August 2018, the dog had been left without access to adequate food and water for a number of days and was underweight with a BCS (body condition score) of 3 out of 9. In the care of RSPCA, the dog gained 48% of his body weight in 25 days. Unfortunately, the dog was fearful and aggressive. Despite a long period of behavioural intervention and attempts at rehabilitation, he was unable to be safely rehomed and was humanely euthanased.

In August 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to animal ill-treatment, was convicted and received a one-year good behaviour bond. She was banned from owning all animals for a period of 5 years.

Man pleads guilty to failing to mitigate harm to elderly pony

An 80-year-old man pleaded guilty in August 2019 to failing to mitigate harm to his elderly miniature pony.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in September 2018, the pony’s hooves were so severely overgrown that they had twisted and penetrated the animal’s skin. This penetration had caused wounds that were flyblown and infested with maggots at the time of the pony’s seizure. She was immediately taken to a veterinarian and received ongoing treatment for her injuries.

In August 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to animal ill-treatment. The defendant was sentenced at first appearance and received a one-year good behaviour bond. He was ordered to pay $1,000 in veterinary costs and banned from owning all animals indefinitely, with the exception of two cows already in his care. The magistrate ordered that RSPCA would maintain supervision over these cows, and decided not to record a conviction due to the defendant’s age, early guilty plea and lack of prior offending.

Mount Gambier man given suspended jail term for starving two dogs

A 61-year-old Mount Gambier man received a 17-week suspended prison sentence in August 2019, after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated ill-treatment of an animal causing death, and ill-treatment of another animal.

The charges related to two dogs – both found in an emaciated condition, with one found deceased. An RSPCA South Australia inspector attended a property in Mount Gambier on July 27 2018, following a cruelty report about two dogs. The inspector found the body of an emaciated nine-year-old Staffordshire Terrier cross named Pig in a corner of the backyard. There was no food or water in the backyard, and no adequate shelter. A second dog, a three-year-old American Bulldog cross named Opie, was found locked in a laundry, the floor covered in urine and faeces. Opie was found to be anaemic and flea-ridden with a BCS (body condition score) of 1.5 out of 9.

In Mount Gambier Magistrates Court in August, 2019, the defendant appeared before Magistrate Anderson. He was given a 17-week prison term (suspended on a 12-month good behaviour bond) and was banned from owning animals indefinitely. Her Honour also ordered the defendant to pay RSPCA South Australia $569.15 in legal and veterinary fees.

Suspended jail term given to second Seacombe Gardens woman who starved dog to near-death

A 44-year-old Seacombe Gardens woman received a two-month and 24-day suspended prison sentence in August 2019, after pleading guilty to failing to mitigate harm to an animal. This decision comes after the defendant’s co-accused 22-year-old daughter was sentenced on the same charges in May and received the same penalty.

The animal ill-treatment charge related to Butch, a four-year-old American Staffordshire Bull Terrier. In July 2018, RSPCA South Australia inspectors found Butch 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 BCS (body condition score) of 0 out of 9. His heartbeat was barely audible, he was gasping for breath and was suffering chronic diarrhoea. The treating RSPCA South Australia vet quickly made the decision that humane euthanasia was the only option. He reported that the dog “would have been suffering greatly for at least a week, but possibly longer”.

The defendant appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court in August 2019. She was ordered to pay $1,630 in legal, veterinary and pathology fees, and was banned from owning animals indefinitely.

 

Largs Bay man given suspended jail term for failing to treat enormous tumour on dog’s leg

A 44-year-old man from Largs Bay received a three-month suspended prison sentence in August 2019, after pleading guilty to ill-treatment of his six-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross dog, named Bindi.

When Bindi was seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors on March 28, 2018, she had a malignant tumour on her leg weighing more than a kilogram. Bindi underwent multiple complex surgeries over several weeks to have the tumour removed. The treating RSPCA veterinarian testified that, given its size, the tumour would have been present for one to two years, possibly longer.

Due to severe anaemia, Bindi also required a blood transfusion after the tumour was removed and her post-operative recovery period lasted two months, with several days spent in intensive critical care. Thankfully, Bindi recovered from surgery and found a lifelong home with her foster carer.

In Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on August, 2019, the defendant appeared before Magistrate Metanomski.  He was sentenced to a three-month prison sentence, suspended upon entering into a two-year good behaviour bond. The defendant was also ordered to pay $6719 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning all animals indefinitely.

July 2019

Woman convicted for ill-treatment of multiple animals

A 38-year-old woman from regional South Australia was convicted of ill-treatment of multiple animals for failing to provide adequate living conditions and failing to mitigate harm to 22 animals.

In November 2018, RSPCA South Australia inspectors seized 12 rabbits, 5 guinea pigs, 4 cats and 1 chicken from the woman’s property. The defendant also surrendered other animals in her care including approximately 50 mice, 2 guinea pigs, 2 cats and 2 dogs.

The animals had been living in filthy conditions without sufficient access to food and water and all rabbits were confined to cages with bases covered in faeces. Very sadly, the chicken had sustained a large, untreated wound on her neck that was so severe that the only option was for our vets to humanely euthanase her. However, with treatment and ongoing care, most animals were able to recover and were soon adopted into new homes.

In court, the defendant pleaded guilty, was convicted and received an 18-month good behaviour bond. The defendant was also ordered to pay $1048 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning future animals indefinitely, with the exception of three dogs already in her care. 

Blair Athol woman convicted for failing to treat dog’s broken leg

A Blair Athol woman was convicted of ill-treating an animal by failing to mitigate harm to her eight-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback cross, named Rosco.

When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in January 2018, Rosco was suffering a serious leg injury – it was suspected that he had been hit by a car. His right hind leg was severely swollen over the hock, with an open wound. X-rays revealed that Rosco had a broken hock.

Rosco required specialist orthopaedic surgery followed by weeks of rehabilitative care in both RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter and within a volunteer foster carer’s home. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and was adopted by his foster carers in February 2018.

In Adelaide Magistrates Court in July, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty, was convicted and received a 2-year good behaviour bond. The defendant was also ordered to pay $2350 in veterinary and legal costs, and was banned from owning any animals for two years.

Woman pleads guilty to failing to feed her dog

A 47-year-old woman from regional South Australia pleaded guilty in July 2019 to failing to provide food and water to her dog. When seized by RSPCA South Australia inspectors in June 2017, the dog was so emaciated and heavily matted that he was unable to stand and was close to death.

The dog was immediately taken to a veterinarian, who reported that he had a BCS (body condition score) of less than 1 out of 9. The veterinarian’s expert witness report found that the dog was suffering from severe emaciation, matting over his entire body, severe dehydration, anaemia and a pendulous mass protruding from his left ear.

The vet estimated that “the condition would have been present for at least two weeks, but more likely as a result of several months of neglect”. Based on the dog’s suffering, distress and poor likelihood of recovery, the veterinarian sadly decided immediate euthanasia was the most humane option.

In sentencing, the magistrate considered a confidential report from a psychologist relating to the defendant’s mental health during submissions. The defendant received a two-year good behaviour bond, was banned from owning all dogs indefinitely and ordered to pay $2,317 in veterinary, shelter and legal costs. The magistrate decided not to record a conviction due to the defendant’s mental health issues. 

International student banned from owning animals after abandoning two puppies

An international student, who abandoned two young puppies in a Glenelg North motel room without access to food and water, was banned from owning animals in July 2019.

The puppies, a Pug and a Poodle, were found locked in a room at the Comfort Inn Haven Marina in Glenelg North in November 2017. They had been left for several days without anyone caring for them. One puppy was so badly dehydrated that he was suffering seizures, requiring emergency veterinary treatment in order to save his life. Both puppies made a full recovery and were later rehomed.

In June 2019, the defendant was detained by Border Force at Adelaide Airport, as she attempted to exit the country. In Adelaide Magistrates Court on July 1, 2019, the defendant’s counsel argued the student was suffering from ill physical and mental health at the time of offending, and was also suffering memory issues. In sentencing, Magistrate Kossiavelos declined to record a conviction on account of the defendant’s health issues. Her Honour ordered the defendant to pay $7,209 in veterinary costs. The defendant was also banned from owning all animals indefinitely.

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Remember, you 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.

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