A 42-year-old-man and 38-year-old woman have been convicted of animal cruelty after a six-year-old bull mastiff died of heatstroke, chained to a metal stake in a Perth backyard on a 40-degree day.

The pair, who were occupants of the property where the dog, Oreo, was found, were fined a combined $5200 and ordered to pay $844.50 in costs. Each offender received a spent conviction and was banned from owning dogs for a period of two years.

The Armadale Magistrates Court heard the RSPCA responded to a cruelty complaint in Kelmscott on 18 January. The caller had concerns for a dog tethered in a backyard.

The man who answered the door said there was a dog on a run around the back and gave the inspector permission to enter the yard.

She found Oreo lying in the sand in the sun. He wasn’t moving and hadn’t reacted to her entering the yard.

The inspector approached him and confirmed he was deceased. Oreo was attached to a metal stake by a heavy metal chain which was too hot for her to touch. The chain was wrapped around the stake two or three times, shortening the tether. There was a saucepan of water in full sun and some shade in a corner of the yard, but both were too far away for Oreo to have reached.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager, Kylie Green, said to know one of the offenders was sitting inside the cool house while Oreo died in the heat of the backyard was incomprehensible.

‘The unnecessary loss of Oreo’s life and the suffering he would have gone through while help was just metres away makes me angry as well as heartbroken,’ Inspector Green said.

‘It would have taken no more than five minutes to give Oreo fresh water and move him into the shade or, better yet, inside in the cool.

‘If you have no other alternative but to tether your dog, please use a proper tethering device and follow instructions.

‘Always ensure your dog is unable to become tangled and always has adequate shelter and water.’

The offenders were convicted under sections 19(1), 19(3)(b)(ii), 19(3)(d) and 19(3)(e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002; namely that they were cruel to an animal in that they restrained him in a manner likely to cause harm and did not provide him with sufficient water and shelter.

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 online here.