1 November 2023

A 43-year-old woman has been convicted of animal cruelty after failing to get vet treatment for her Jack Russell crossbreed who had suffered serious injuries in a dog attack.

The offender has been fined $7000 and banned from having a dog for two years.

In sentencing, Magistrate Sarah Oliver said the case was a ‘serious example of neglect of an animal’ adding the dog, Archie, would have been in ‘incredible pain.’

The Merredin Magistrates Court heard RSPCA WA inspectors responded to a cruelty complaint in relation to an injured dog at the woman’s Wheatbelt home in December 2021.

The offender told inspectors seven-year-old Archie had been injured by two larger dogs around a week and a half earlier and had been laying on his bed since.

She said she hadn’t looked at Archie to assess his injuries, but she had seen him limping and suspected a broken leg.

She said she had ‘no idea’ why she hadn’t taken Archie to the vet and admitted she thought he would be suffering and in pain because of his injuries.

The RSPCA WA inspector examined Archie and saw a deep gaping hole next to his penis that was leaking fluid and had flies buzzing around it. Archie also had a deep laceration to his left shoulder.

A consequent veterinary examination confirmed he had infected dog fight wounds that required surgical cleaning and repair; extensive soft tissue damage to his groin and right shoulder; large, scabbed lesions on his back; and lameness in both hind legs due to soft tissue damage with extensive inflammation.

Archie has since recovered and has been adopted into a loving home where his owner describes him as a ‘very happy little guy’.

Inspector manager Kylie Green said there’s no excuse for leaving an animal to suffer.

‘To think of poor Archie lying there in pain with the infection spreading – it’s just horrendous,’ she said.

‘There is no excuse for this kind of offending. Take your sick or injured animals to the vet, ask friends or family for help, call the RSPCA or a rescue group … there are many options.’

The accused was convicted under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. She was found to have been cruel to an animal in that she allowed the dog to suffer harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps.

The maximum penalty for an animal cruelty offence is a $50,000 fine and five years in prison.

In addition to the fine and ownership ban, the offender was ordered to pay $171.70 in costs.