16 June 2014

A Balga couple were today found guilty of animal cruelty in the Perth Magistrates Court for the severe neglect of a rottweiler cross dog named Snoopy.

The dogs registered owner, Deborah Hayes, a FIFO worker, was found guilty of animal cruelty and received aSnoopy severely neglected with skin condition 2014 $5000 fine and a five year ban from owning any animal.

Ms Hayes partner, William John Warmdean, was also convicted as he was the person in charge at the property where the dog resided at the time of the offence. He also received a fine of $5000 and a five year prohibition order for severe neglect and an additional $1000 fine for failing to follow directions issued by an RSPCA Inspector.

RSPCA Inspectors visited their Balga property on 21 August 2013 after receiving a complaint about a rottweiler cross dog which was kept in terrible conditions and was reported to have a severe skin condition with nearly total fur loss and was unable to stop scratching.

On arrival at the property, Inspectors reported a stench coming from the home and on presentation of the dog could smell a distinct yeast smell from metres away.

Mr Warmdean who was in charge of the dog at the time, was offered to surrender the dog to the RSPCA which he refused. A direction was then issued for Mr Warmdean to seek veterinary treatment for the dog.

After repeated attempts to work with and direct the offender over a period of two weeks the dog still had not received veterinary care.

The dog was then seized by RSPCA Inspectors and was taken back to RSPCA's veterinary clinic for immediate treatment.

Upon examination, the dog was found to be suffering from numerous conditions including a severe skin disease and bacterial skin infection which resulted in skin thickening, scaling and crusting across his body and trunk. The only areas not affected were his paws and muzzle. Snoopy commenced treatment for his skin on the first day he arrived at the shelter. Veterinary treatment continued for the 3 1/2 months he was in our care. While we initially saw some improvement in his skin condition it rapidly plateaued and there was no further improvement. The hard decision was made to euthanase Snoopy as he was living a life of pain and discomfort.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said "This poor dog had worn his teeth to the pulp from chewing his own skin given the irritation associated with the condition. This is a disgusting case of neglect which was treatable and preventable.

"Several attempts were made to direct and assist the owners to fix the situation and have them seek veterinary attention but they were ignored.

"Unfortunately on this occasion, Snoopy's condition was too far advanced and we were unable to save him. It's disappointing to think that in today's society an animal has suffered in this unnecessary way" she said.

The RSPCA advises that routine maintenance is essential for an animal's health, safety and welfare. This includes standard regular treatments such as worming, vaccination and flea treatments along with regular visits to a vet.