1 May 2023

A 35-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man from Mirrabooka, who left their dog to suffer with a painful break in her paw for over a week, have been charged with animal cruelty.

An RSPCA WA inspector attended the couple’s home on 8 December 2022 following a cruelty report. She found an eight-month-old female Bull Mastiff clearly in pain and unable to put weight on her left hind leg.

The dog was whimpering, and the male accused admitted she was ‘struggling’ with the injury. He declined the inspector’s offer to surrender to RSPCA WA, saying they would take the dog to the vet that afternoon.

The inspector issued a written direction to seek vet care but, when the couple failed to comply, RSPCA WA seized the dog. She was transported to the Animal Care Centre in Malaga, where vets found she had a fracture in her paw that would have caused her severe pain and distress.

The couple have been charged under sections 19(1), 19(3)(h) and 40(2) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

RSPCA WA will allege the pair failed to alleviate harm to their dog by taking reasonable steps–namely seeking vet care. And that they failed to comply with a written direction from the RSPCA WA inspector.

The charges will be heard in Perth Magistrates Court on 12 May 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.