Two people pleaded guilty to three charges of animal cruelty against three dogs and four puppies in Bankstown Local Court last week.
In May an RSPCA Inspector attended a Chester Hill home after complaints of a skinny dog with a skin condition, accompanied by three police officers from the Bankstown LAC.
After spotting a white male American Bulldog with a weeping eye and hips, ribs and spine clearly visible, they were let into the house by the resident to gain access to the backyard and better assess the dog.
Inside the home they found a whelping female red American Staffordshire with four puppies of around three weeks of age. The female staffy was also very thin, with muscle wastage seen in her hind legs.
Another male American Staffordshire cross American Bulldog was also found tethered in the backyard, also in poor body condition.
Inspectors told the owners the dogs required medical treatment, but they refused to surrender the animals. After conferring with the attending police officers, the RSPCA seized the dogs and they were taken to the Yagoona RSPCA Veterinary Clinic for examination.
The vet gave all three adult dogs a body score of five, where one is ideal and five is emaciated. The male American Bulldog cross American Staffordshire and female American Staffordshire Terrier were found to have a severe flea infestation and resulting anaemia.
The four puppies were all given body scores of three, two of the puppies were also found to be anaemic and one borderline anaemic, due to severe flea infestations.
The owners admitted the dogs were “real skinny” and that one had been suffering from an eye condition for two or three weeks. The woman said she tried to clean the eye daily for the last month with warm water, but the condition continued to worsen.
She said she fed the dogs a mix of dry and wet food three or four times a week. Other times they were fed table scraps and bones. The woman also admitted she was aware of the dietary needs of a lactating female dog, but did not change the dog’s food and said she was getting thin as “the pups were taking it out of her”.
The man said he was responsible for taking the animals to the vet, but hadn’t as the dog trailer was unregistered and he didn’t want to take them in his car.
They were again offered the chance to surrender their animals but refused.
In court they were found guilty of three charges:
- Failure to provide vet treatment for fleas.
- Failure to provide proper and sufficient food.
- Failure to provide vet treatment for corneal ulcer.
They were fined $3000, and ordered to pay professional fees of $428.10 and vet and boarding fees of $16,568. The couple were each banned from owning an animal for two years, and custody of dogs was awarded to RSPCA.
All Charges Made Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act