5 April 2024

A 54-year-old Midland man has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly failing to seek medical care for his 18-year-old Labrador-cross dog.

RSPCA WA inspectors attended the man’s Eden Hill property in March 2022 after receiving a report about a dog which looked as if ‘all of his insides had come out’.

RSPCA WA inspectors attended the property where the accused told them he had a ‘poor old dog’ who’s condition was ‘terrible’.

The inspectors found the dog unresponsive with a rockmelon-sized growth on his anal region which had open wounds and was emitting an offensive odour and attracting flies and maggots.

The dog was also underweight, with an outline of his ribs, hips and spine visible and had a distended abdomen. He also had sunken eyes with discharge coming out of them, and a chronic skin condition.

The accused told one of the inspectors that the dog’s condition had deteriorated since December 2021 however he hadn’t taken him to a vet.

He surrendered the dog to RSPCA WA and the dog was transported to the Animal Care Centre in Malaga for immediate assessment and treatment.

An RSPCA WA vet noted the dog was severely emaciated with a body condition score of 1/9, with 5/9 considered ideal. He was also suffering from dehydration, severe dental disease, severe osteoarthritis, and chronic skin disease. His large perianal mass was ulcerated and had become necrotic.

The mass had a very foul odour of rotting flesh and infection, and caused considerable pain when the dog was sitting, standing, moving his tail, or defecating. The vet observed the dog was suffering from extreme pain and his mass was inoperable. The dog was humanely euthanised.

The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege he was cruel to an animal in that he allowed the dog to suffer harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps.

The maximum penalty is a $50,000 fine and five years in prison.

The charge will be heard in Midland Magistrates Court on 8 April 2024.

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 at rspcawa.org.au.