17 October 2023

A 29-year-old woman has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving her Great Dane to suffer ‘football-sized’ tumours without treatment.

In January 2022, an RSPCA WA inspector responded to a cruelty complaint in relation to a dog at an address in Forrestfield.

She reported the dog in question was lethargic and in poor condition with the outline of his ribs, hip bones, and the top of his skull visible.

The inspector also observed he had a pungent smell and a large, hanging growth on the left side of his body which was around 15cm x 20cm in size.

The accused allegedly told the inspector the dog had ‘rapidly deteriorated’ in the last couple of months however she had not taken him to a vet or made a euthanasia appointment.

The inspector seized the dog. A subsequent veterinary examination found he was severely emaciated with severe muscle wastage and a body condition score of one out of five; was severely dehydrated; and had a large ulcerated and infected mass and two smaller masses on his abdomen. The larger mass had evidence of maggot infestation.

The vet believed the dog was likely in a significant amount of pain and his quality of life was severely comprised to such an extent that human euthanasia was highly recommended.

The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19 3(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege she was cruel to an animal in that she allowed the dog to suffer harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps.

The maximum penalty is a $50,000 fine and five years in prison.

The charge will be heard in Midland Magistrates Court on 13 November 2023.

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.