8 November 2023

A 32-year-old man has been fined $4000 and banned from owning an animal for five years after pleading guilty to two charges of beating his nine-week-old puppy.

RSPCA WA received a report in April that the man, who was living in Rockingham at the time, had punched the Staffy kelpie crossbreed named Choppa in the face.

During the RSPCA’s investigation, it was revealed that a previous incident of abuse had occurred in March.

The Rockingham Magistrates Court heard that on that occasion, the man was seen throwing scissors at Choppa before hitting him forcefully twice with a clenched fist and throwing him across the room.

RSPCA WA seized the puppy who is currently thriving in foster care.

In sentencing, the Magistrate said, ‘Everyone would agree that a nine-week-old puppy should be protected, which was not provided here.’

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said there is no excuse for deliberately hurting an animal.

‘Choppa weighed just five and a half kilos when we seized him and was still so young,’ she said.

‘Imagine his pain, terror and confusion at being subjected to such cowardly and brutal treatment.

‘Animals rely on us for absolutely everything, including a sense of safety and security.

‘To betray that trust in such a way is just unimaginable.’

In addition to the penalties imposed by the court, the offender was also ordered to pay $981.30 in costs and reimbursements to RSPCA WA. 

Choppa was forfeited to the Crown.

RSPCA WA thanked Doug Johnson from Francis Burt Chambers for his assistance in this matter.

The offender was convicted under sections 19(1) and 19(2)(a) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. He was found to have been cruel to an animal in that he maliciously beat the puppy.

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

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