4 February 2022

A 38-year-old Quinns Rocks woman has been fined $15,000 and banned from owning animals for five years, after failing to feed her two dogs, one of which later died from starvation.

The offender, who pleaded guilty to charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 in Joondalup Magistrates court today, was also ordered to pay costs of $163.30.

In August 2021, the RSPCA received a report about two skinny dogs at the accused’s address and an inspector attended to investigate. In the backyard, she found Blaze, a one-year-old Staffy-cross, emaciated, with the outline of his ribs, hips and spine protruding. The other dog, Odin, a three-year-old Bull Mastiff-cross, was in very poor condition, with the outline of his bones also clearly visible. There was no fresh water available for the dogs.

Blaze, a Staffy-cross dog, died from prolonged starvation.  Odin was so skinny his hips and ribs were clearly visible when he was rescued

The inspector questioned the offender, who admitted the dogs had been deteriorating for ‘about a month’, and that she’d never seen Blaze so skinny, but had not taken either dog to the vet. She said she was feeding both dogs twice a day, and had recently wormed them, but they were not gaining any weight.

The inspector told the offender she suspected the dogs were not being fed properly, and that an offence had occurred under the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The offender surrendered both dogs to the inspector, and they were taken to RSPCA WA’s Animal Care Centre in Malaga.

RSPCA WA vets found Blaze was emaciated and weighed just 12 kilograms—less than half his ideal weight. Odin was also emaciated, weighing in at 25 kilograms, more than 10 kilograms less than he should, and had an infection in both ears. Neither dog was found to have any underlying conditions that would prevent them from gaining weight.

In a sad turn of events, Blaze suffered a sudden heart attack while in care, and despite vets administering critical care and CPR, he was unable to be saved. An external post-mortem found Blaze’s cause of death was prolonged, severe starvation.

Over the course of several months, Odin was able to make a full recovery in RSPCA WA’s care. He gained 13 kilograms to reach his ideal weight and was adopted into a loving new home.

Odin, a Bull Mastiff-cross, regained 13kg before finding a permanent, loving home.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said she hoped today’s outcome sent a clear message to pet owners about neglect.

‘We understand that people fall on hard financial times, and RSPCA WA inspectors will always do what we can to support pet owners with emergency supplies and advice,’ she said.

‘What beggars belief are cases like this one, where pets have been starving to death right in front of their owners’ eyes while they do nothing.

‘Poor Blaze was found to have large amounts of grass in his stomach, which he’d clearly been eating in an attempt to satisfy his hunger. It’s a heartbreaking outcome for Blaze, but I’m comforted to know he was surrounded by love when he passed. And thank goodness we were able to get to Odin in time.

‘If you’re struggling to provide your pets with the basics, like food, shelter and vet care, please reach out for help before it’s too late.’

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.