Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Puppy farmer convicted of multiple animal cruelty charges

On 27 November, Dario (David) Baena of Falls Creek was ordered to pay over $155,000 in fines and costs, and banned from owning animals for 10 years after being sentenced on multiple counts of animal cruelty in Nowra Local Court.

Baena, who failed to appear and was convicted in his absence, was charged in October last year after RSPCA NSW Inspectors responded to a call from police concerning the number and the poor condition of dogs on his property. The inspectors found almost 200 dogs living in putrid conditions and many in very poor body condition. A number of dead puppies were also found, some had been tied together with wire and died of strangulation.

The inspectors seized 185 dogs and charged Baena with the following offences: Three counts of aggravated animal cruelty, eight counts of committing an act of animal cruelty, two counts of failing to provide vet treatment, and seven counts each of failing to provide sufficient ventilation and failing to ensure housing was kept clean and hygienic.

Baena pleaded guilty to the above charges in February this year however a further 10 charges were laid in May after the RSPCA again visited his property. On this occasion he was charged with four counts of failing to provide vet treatment, two counts of failing to comply with the Animal Welfare Code of Practice, and one count each of failing to exercise reasonable care, failing to provide proper and sufficient food, and committing an act of animal cruelty.

Magistrate Doug Dick found Baena guilty in his absence of all 10 charges. While delivering his sentence Magistrate Dick noted that he “had the unfortunate duty of watching the dvd footage” and that it was his “responsibility to protect animals”.

Baena was fined a total of $20,350 and ordered to pay costs of $134,962.23. As well as the 10-year prohibition order, Baena was ordered to surrender any animals currently in his possession.

Moiety of the fine was awarded to RSPCA NSW.

RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector David O’Shannessy says today’s result is pleasing and is a reminder to the community that housing animals in such deplorable conditions is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“It’s a great result following the rescue of these dogs from the appalling conditions they endured in the puppy mill. Unfortunately when animals are rescued from these situations, despite the best efforts of the RSPCA, not all animals are able to be rehabilitated,” said O’Shannessy.

“Mr Baena’s 10-year prohibition order provides significant protection to animals that may have otherwise ended up in his care.”



  1. Well done to the RSPCA and the courts for dealing with this pest puppy farmer

  2. Tahnks for the great work done to fine this cruel person.
    It's a shame the law could not gaol this person.

  3. Thank you to all the officers in the RSPCA who deal with seeing this kind of thing all the time. You are wonderful human beings and the creatures who you care for are so lucky that there are dedicated people like yourselves in this world.

  4. That man should be jailed! His act of cruelty is disgusting.I wish the R.S.P.C.A had more authority to fine people who treat these beautiful creatures so cruelly. Great job R.S.P.C.A!!! XX

  5. It is about time that these people are made to pay for their crimes and not just get a slap on the wrist.

  6. A good outcome for a sad situation, those poor animals. Thank goodness RSPCA was contacted and could help save these poor babies from a life of pain & misery. I have zero tolerance for these type of so called "human beings" shame he didn't get jail and the same treatment these poor animals received.

  7. This is disgusting behaviour. Who in their right mind, would want to treat such delicate, sweet little creatures with anything but care? That man should be jailed for his crimes. He should get the same treatment these animals received, as someone said.