6 December 2023

A 44-year-old Augusta man has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving his kelpie puppy with an untreated broken leg.

An RSPCA inspector attended the man’s South West home in May 2022 after receiving a report of a dog with a broken leg. The report suggested the dog’s leg was ‘floppy’ and ‘pointing in the wrong direction’ following a fall from the back of a ute a week earlier.

The inspector saw the nine-month-old kelpie at the property. The dog’s left hind leg was wrapped in a bandage and silver duct tape which were holding a homemade splint in place.

The inspector observed the leg appeared to be broken as it was sitting at an odd angle.

The inspector seized the puppy due to suspected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and took her to a local vet who confirmed the puppy’s leg was indeed broken and that the homemade attempts at treating it had resulted in open and infected wounds and swelling.

The vet further noted that without appropriate treatment, it would have been likely the wounds would have become septic and the dog would have died within weeks.

The accused allegedly told the inspector he hadn’t taken the dog to a vet because it was expensive and that instead he had been giving her Panadol.

The accused surrendered the dog to the RSPCA. She has since recovered and been adopted.

The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19 3(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege he was cruel to an animal in that he 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 Margaret River Magistrates Court on 18 December 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.