Monday, February 23, 2015

Woman banned from owning animals after dog found dead

A 33-year-old woman has been fined $750 and banned from owning animals for two years after appearing in Mount Druitt Local Court on Thursday, the 19th of February, 2015 and pleading guilty to two counts failing to provide veterinary treatment to her female Great Dane dog resulting in its death.

Charges
  • Fail to provide veterinary treatment — Flea Burden (one charge)
  • Fail to provide veterinary treatment — Emaciation  (one charge) 

Key Facts
On 27th July 2014, a complaint was received by RSPCA NSW alleging that a dog was dead in a backyard in Bidwill.  On arrival, a four-year-old black and grey female Great Dane was seen laying unresponsive in the rear yard. There was no one home at the time.

The dog was noted to be in an emaciated body condition with its ribs, spine and hipbones clearly prominent.

NSW Police assisted in seizing the deceased dog and the RSPCA transported it to the RSPCA Sydney Shelter in Yagoona where a post mortem was conducted.

An RSPCA Veterinarian noted the dog weighed 21kg and had all bone prominences easily visible from a distance. Based on the Tufts Animal Care and Condition Scales for assessing body condition, where 1 is an ideal body condition and 5 is the most underweight, this dog was given a body condition score of 5. Further observations noted severe generalised muscle and fat atrophy, with the rib, bony prominences of the scapula, spine and hips easily visualised and palpated.  A large amount of flea dirt was also found alongside live fleas. It was estimated the dog had needed treatment for fleas for no less than two weeks but likely longer.

The vet assessed that the dog would have required a veterinary examination for its emaciated body condition and necessary treatment for a period of no less than 4 weeks prior to its death.

Two RSPCA Inspectors returned to the residence where the dog was found to interview the woman on the 4th August, 2014. The woman said she owned the female Great Dane for around four years and was in charge of her daily care.

The woman said she was aware that the dog needed treatment for worms and that the dog hadn't seen a vet for a year or two.

The woman said though she usually lived at the residence, she had been staying elsewhere, returning home sporadically to give her two dogs food and water.

She admitted knowing her two dogs fought over food, and the male dog dominated, leaving the Great Dane to starve, and she did nothing to intervene.

The accused last attended her home on 27th July 2014, not returning until some four days later. She failed to have anyone else check on the animals or feed them in her absence.

The woman said she last saw the dog alive on the 27th of July, stating “she was on the...she was on like the… the slender side,” describing her body condition as “Um, like her back bone a little bit was...a little bit was showing and her haunches,” and acknowledging that the dog did not look normal or healthy.

Sentencing
  • FINE: $750
  • TWO YEAR GOOD BEHAVIOUR BOND
  • ORDERED TO REHOME CURRENT DOG
  • PROHIBITED FROM OWNING, ACQUIRING OR BEING IN CHARGE OF AN ANIMAL FOR TWO YEARS
All Charges Made Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

For media enquiries, please contact Jessica Conway on 0488 905 353.

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