On 18th of December 2013, the RSPCA received a complaint in relation to a dog taken to Blacktown Council Pound. Witnesses described the dog as being skin and bones, missing large amounts of hair and having scabs, pus and sores over its body.
The Pound staff advised the man with the dog, that the animal required urgent veterinary treatment. Witness accounts state the man became agitated and left the pound after staff questioned him about the dog’s poor condition.
One witness approached the defendant in the car park where he agreed to give her the dog. The woman immediately took the dog to a local vet who assessed the dog as being very underweight with a body score of 1/5, where 1 is emaciated and 5 is ideal. The dog had no discernible fat and was experiencing severe muscle wastage, he had a heavy flea burden and severe areas of hair loss associated with severe thickening caused by rubbing, scratching and crusting. These conditions would have been present one month prior to presentation.
After taking witness statements from the woman and pound staff members, the RSPCA Inspector then spoke to the man on the 13th of February, 2014. During the interview the defendant said he’d gone away for a week and returned to find the dog in that condition. He said he believed it was from a spider or insect bite. The dog was reportedly in the care of his parents while he was away. The man stated his parents told him there was something wrong with the dog. He said he took her to the pound a week after he returned.
The man said the dog’s appetite had notably declined and that he didn’t think his dog’s condition was normal, but couldn’t afford vet or medical care. He acknowledged the dog would have been in discomfort.
The RSPCA Inspector took photographs taken of the dog (by witnesses on the 17th of December, 2013) to a veterinary skin specialist for assessment. The report noted the dog to have a skin disease which was characterized by extensive hair loss with skin thickening and increased pigmentation affecting over 70% of the body surface area and would have been present for at least three months prior to presentation and more likely for six months or more. The generalised disease and poor body condition was not consistent with an initial localised insult or trauma, including a spider bite.
- Fine: $800
- Prohibited from owning animals for two years
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