8 March 2024

A 70-year-old Bullsbrook man has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly keeping his mature kelpie in an enclosure filled with dog faeces, rotting animal bones, and contaminated water.

An RSPCA inspector attended the man’s home on 28 August 2023 after receiving a cruelty report in relation to another matter and found the 8-year-old female brown and red kelpie in a makeshift enclosure.

The inspector reported the sheltered and grassed areas of the enclosure contained an excessive build-up of faeces.

It was estimated to have built up over several months, as well as rotting animal bones, wire, sheets of rusty tin, and broken wooden slats.

The only water available was thick with bright green algae and had large amounts of moss growing on the rim of the dish.

The inspector spoke to the accused and expressed her concern regarding the dog’s living conditions, as well as a large, visible mammary mass.

The accused declined to surrender the dog to RSPCA WA, allegedly stating he would destroy the dog instead, after keeping her for a few more months for work purposes. The accused refused to follow a direction given by the inspector to clean the dog’s enclosure and the dog was seized.

The kelpie was transported to RSPCA WA Animal Care Centre for assessment and treatment.

It was found she had a flea infestation; suspected osteoarthritis; and a mammary mass that was later confirmed to be benign.

The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(b)(ii) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege he was cruel to an animal in that he confined her in a way that was likely to cause her unnecessary harm. The maximum penalty is a $50,000 fine and five years in prison.

He’s also been charged with refusing to comply with a direction notice which carries a maximum penalty of a $20,000 fine and one year in prison.

The charge will be heard in Midland Magistrates Court on 20 March, 2024.

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.