16 May 2023

A 39-year-old woman has been charged with animal cruelty, after the RSPCA seized two matted, flea-ridden dogs from her Collie home.

An RSPCA WA inspector attended the property with local rangers on 5 January after receiving two cruelty reports.

The inspector found the female and male Lhasa-Apso-type dogs, matted, covered with fleas and scratching and biting themselves excessively.

She seized both dogs and took them to a local vet clinic for treatment and grooming. Vets found the male was anaemic due to his flea infestation, while the female was underweight, had dental problems and was suffering with a painful grass seed infection.

The dogs, who are aged around 10, have since travelled to RSPCA WA’s Animal Care Centre in Malaga, where they continue to recover.

During questioning, the accused claimed she had groomed both dogs in recent months and said she had treated them for fleas using eucalyptus oil. She said she had not noticed either dog scratching or biting their skin or paws.

The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege the dogs suffered harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps.

The charges will be heard in Collie Magistrates Court on 7 June 2023.

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 online here.