8 November 2022

A 51-year-old Camillo man has been convicted of animal cruelty in relation to two puppies advertised for sale on Gumtree.

The offender was fined $5000 and banned from owning or being in contact with animals for a period of five years. He was ordered to pay court and care costs totalling $2577.26 to RSPCA WA.

The Armadale Magistrates Court heard RSPCA WA received a cruelty report in May from a person advising the puppies, situated at the accused’s address in Camillo, were sick and underweight. 

An inspector attended the property. She reported seeing two eight-week-old American Staffy crossbreed pups confined in a small  crate  that was barricaded with speakers, pieces of wood and a part of a flyscreen door. The crate was soiled with urine and faeces and there was no food available.

The inspector described the puppies, Raffles and Macy, as being very underweight with their ribs, hips and spine visible. They were filthy from the mess inside the crate.

The inspector suspected an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and seized the puppies, transporting them to an emergency vet for initial assessment and overnight care before they were taken to the RSPCA in Malaga.

Raffles (below, left) and Macy (below, right) have recovered and are currently in foster care.

Inspector Manager, Kylie Green, said the offender was trying to make money from the sale of the puppies yet failing to meet their most basic needs.

‘Raffles and Macy were both suffering from an intestinal tract infection, most commonly caused by ingesting faeces—they were clearly underweight and unwell, yet the owner hadn’t cleaned their environment or taken them to a vet,’ Kylie said.

‘If you have decided now is the time to bring a dog into your home, we would encourage you to look at adoption in the first instance.

‘If you do decide to buy a puppy, the RSPCA recommends finding a good breeder—don’t buy off Gumtree.


‘Always insist on seeing the mum and puppies (and dad too if possible) in their home environment where the puppies are being raised, before deciding on your purchase so you can see how they’re being looked after. 

‘If the seller won’t let you come to the home, suggests you meet somewhere neutral for them to hand the puppy over, or tries to sell you a puppy less than at least 8 weeks old—walk away.’