26 July 2021

WARNING: Story contains images that may be distressing.

A 36-year-old man, formerly of Orelia but now living in South Australia, has today been convicted of animal cruelty, after pleading guilty in Rockingham Magistrates Court.

The offender, who was bailed to WA on the charges last month, has been fined $9000, banned from owning a dog for five years, and ordered to pay legal costs totalling $280.50.  

Today’s conviction, under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002, relates to a five-year-old brindle Great Dane named Redley.

A WA police officer made a cruelty report to the RSPCA in April 2019 after attending the offender’s property and seeing two dogs, Redley and a smaller dog. The officer described Redley as being in really poor shape with his ribs, spine and hips protruding.

Two RSPCA inspectors went to the property where they seized Redley and the other dog after seeing the condition they were in.

The offender told inspectors he thought Redley was sick, but he couldn’t afford to take him to the vet. He claimed he was trying to ‘build him back up’ and denied that Redley missed meals, claiming to feed him once or twice a day.

Redley, a brindle Great Dane, was starved. His owner has been prosecuted.Redley was taken to Baldivis Vet Clinic where he had to be sedated to be examined due to severe aggression. A vet determined Redley had suffered from prolonged starvation and was extremely emaciated as a result, with severe muscle wastage over his entire body. He also had an ear infection, hip dysplasia and a flea infestation.

Despite treatment and care by the RSPCA for over a month, Redley was euthanised on humane grounds.

The Court concluded Redley suffered harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps, contrary to sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of the Act; and the offender didn’t provide proper and sufficient food to Redley contrary to sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Act.

RSPCA WA Executive Manager Animal and Enforcement Operations, Hannah Dreaver, said Redley’s vet reports showed the true extent of his suffering.

'Redley had no body fat deposits at all—none—and minimal muscle,' Hannah said.

'His blood and faecal samples showed he was close to being anaemic and had low blood proteins which are the signs you see in anorexia and starvation.

'Redley was meant to be a loved pet. Instead he was left to starve and suffer over a long period of time.

'The sheer neglect is hard to comprehend. Please, if you can’t look after your animals, ask for help.'

Hannah thanked Jordan Hurley and Ellen Richmond from K&L Gates for their pro bono legal services, as well as Baldivis Vet Hospital and WA Police for their assistance in this case.  

The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect. Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or online here.