23 December 2022

RSPCA WA says it’s becoming increasingly angry with the number of people failing to provide the basics for their pets.

Four owners were convicted of cruelty to five dogs in two separate court cases yesterday.

In the first case, a 39-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man were fined $2000 each, following the discovery of a severely emaciated dog inside the garage of their Rivervale address. The magistrate noted the offending warranted a higher fine but noted the pair had limited financial means.

The second case involved a 45-year-old woman and her 23-year-old daughter. They were fined a combined $15,000 in relation to four starving dogs found in the backyard of a home in Wilson.

The Rivervale pair were prohibited from owning or having contact with pets for one year, while the mother and daughter received a three-year ban.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said the rising tally of pets being deprived of their fundamental needs was extremely concerning.

‘This year alone we’ve prosecuted on behalf of 24 dogs and cats who didn’t have access to sufficient food or water,’ she said.

‘The fact that owners are letting it get to the point where we can count every bone in their pet’s body is hard to comprehend and completely unacceptable.’

In April 2022, an RSPCA WA inspector attended the Rivervale property in response to a cruelty report. She found a male Shar-pei named Boofy shut inside the garage in complete darkness. Boofy’s ribs, hips and spine were all visible and he appeared flat and lethargic.

The male offender claimed Boofy was fed three times a day, seven days a week, however RSPCA WA disputed this--a vet exam found he was extremely emaciated, weighing just 15.2kg.

The second case came after RSPCA WA visited the daughter’s Wilson address in May 2022. An inspector found four mixed-breed dogs, Tyson, Sheisty, Drip and Lucy, underweight with their ribs clearly visible.

Tyson and Sheisty belonged to the mother and were in considerably worse condition than the other two. The mother claimed she often visited to feed the dogs, but RSPCA WA disputed this, and a vet exam found both were around 30 per cent underweight.
The five dogs involved in yesterday’s outcomes remain in RSPCA WA’s care where, combined, they have gained around 35kg.

Ms Green urged pet owners to be proactive about seeking help if they were struggling.

‘If financial stress is impacting your ability to feed your pets, that’s when you must reach out to friends, family, or rescue groups for help,’ she said.

‘If you allow your animal to suffer you will be held accountable.’

All four offenders were sentenced in Perth Magistrates Court under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

The Rivervale pair were ordered to pay $441.50 each in court and care costs. The mother and daughter were ordered to pay $1134.46 and $1993.46 respectively in court and care costs and both were granted spent convictions.

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.