8 May 2023

A couple from Bindoon, who left their dog at home without adequate water for almost a month, have been fined a total of $9000.

The 25-year-old woman and 26-year-old man pleaded guilty in Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday. They were banned from contact with pets for two years and were ordered to pay a total of $699.60 in court and care costs.

An RSPCA WA inspector attended the couple’s home on 5 December 2022, and found their one-year-old Staffy, now named Bindi, in the backyard without access to water.

During the inspectors’ investigation, she was told the couple had not been seen at the address for three weeks, so others had been providing food and water for the dog over the fence.

The inspector seized Bindi due to suspected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2002, and brought her to RSPCA WA in Malaga, where she remains in care.

When questioned, the female offender admitted to leaving Bindi with a bucket of biscuits and water, while she and her partner were away between 9 November 2022 and 11 December 2022. She said she had not organised for anyone to look after Bindi during that time.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said the couple had shown a complete disregard for Bindi’s life. ‘Leaving your pet alone for weeks without proper care is neglect–plain and simple,’ she said.

‘The outcome could easily have turned tragic for Bindi. She could have died of thirst, become sick or injured, and her owners would have been none the wiser.

‘I’m so grateful that kind members of the public intervened and alerted RSPCA WA to Bindi’s situation.

‘Today’s outcome should send a clear message to the public–your pet is your responsibility. If you are away for long periods, you must arrange adequate and suitable care for them.

‘At the very least, someone should be checking your pets daily to ensure they have adequate food, water and company.’

The offenders were sentenced under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The court found they did not provide their dog with sufficient water.

As part of the sentencing, Bindi was forfeited to RSPCA WA.

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.