5 December 2022

A 44-year-old man from Perth’s north has been fined $3000 and banned from being in contact with animals for five years after being found guilty of beating his four-month-old puppy.

He was fined a further $800 for verbally abusing and threatening an RSPCA WA inspector.

The Joondalup Magistrates Court heard that in May, RSPCA WA received a report detailing two attacks against the Boerboel puppy, Hank, at the offender’s home in Butler.

In the first incident, the offender grabbed the puppy by the scruff of his neck and forcefully slapped him across the face and head. Around five minutes later, the offender punched the puppy four or five times in the face, causing Hank to cry and cower.

As a result of the report, and supplied video evidence of the first attack, an RSPCA WA inspector obtained a warrant to enter the offender’s home, which she did with assistance from WA Police.

The inspector questioned the offender, who admitted to ‘losing his cool’ and said the puppy had been ‘getting in trouble’ for toileting in the lounge room.

Hank was seized and taken to RSPCA WA’s Animal Care Centre in Malaga. Today he is much healthier and happier living with and foster carer (see pics below!)

Inspector Manager Kylie Green said there was never an excuse to physically harm an animal.

‘Toilet training is part and parcel of owning a puppy with swift results when you use appropriate methods,’ Inspector Green said.

‘Repetition, encouragement, praise, pats and treats are what will get your puppy trained—pain, violence and intimidation will not.

‘Resorting to violence says more about the offender than it does about the puppy’s ability to learn and I’m pleased that in this instance we were able to get some justice for Hank.’

The man was convicted under sections 19(1) and 19(2)(a) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (‘the Act’), namely that he was cruel to an animal by maliciously beating him.

He was also convicted under section 77(a) of the Act, for threatening an inspector.

In addition to $3800 in fines, the offender was also ordered to pay $615.27 in costs.

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 online here.