Tuesday, July 16, 2013

ANIMAL CRUELTY: Como man convicted for animal cruelty

All photos taken on date of seizure

A local Como man appeared in Sutherland Local Court on Monday 8 July and was convicted of two charges of animal cruelty against his 11 year-old German Shepherd dog. He was ordered to pay veterinary costs and professional fees.

On Thursday 29 November 2012, RSPCA NSW Inspectors attended a property in Como in response to a call about a man pulling and dragging a German Shepherd dog which appeared to have a problem with its back legs.

Inspectors met with the man and his 11 year-old German Shepherd in the street outside his house. The dog appeared to be having trouble walking. His back legs were weak and repeatedly giving way, causing his back end to collapse. The man stated that he was the owner of the dog. The dog was walking a few metres only, before resting. The man was ‘poking’ the dog and pushing him with his walking stick to get him to move. The RSPCA Inspectors issued written directions to the man for his dog to be taken to a veterinary clinic within 48 hours.

On 3 December 2012 an RSPCA Inspector spoke with the owner and during the conversation reminded him that he needed to take his dog to a veterinary clinic. Another call was made to the owner on 6 December 2012 during which he again stated that he had not taken his dog to see a veterinarian.

On 7 December 2012, RSPCA Inspectors attended the man's address with the intention of seizing the German Shepherd so that he could be examined by a veterinarian. The accused drove away from the address with the dog in his vehicle, preventing RSPCA Inspectors from seizing him. On 10 December 2012 RSPCA Inspectors attended the address again and seized the dog. He was transported for immediate medical treatment.

Veterinary examination revealed the dog to be severely ataxic (wobbly/uncoordinated gait) and had severe muscle atrophy. Failure to provide veterinary treatment resulted in the dog being in unnecessary pain, suffering and discomfort.  Whilst in care the dog’s condition deteriorated and he became unable to stand without assistance. His infected hygromas were also not responding to treatment. Due to his deteriorating condition, it was deemed cruel to keep him alive so a decision was made to humanely euthanase him.

Judgement & Charges

The owner was found GUILTY and was convicted on two charges of animal cruelty. Failure to provide necessary veterinary treatment to an adult male German Shepherd dog for ataxic gait (1 charge) and failure to provide necessary veterinary treatment to an adult male German Shepherd dog for infected hygromas (1 charge). He was fined $3,313.82 in veterinary fees and $500 in professional costs.

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