15 March 2024

A 56-year-old Cloverdale man has been sentenced to a 12-month community-based order and permanently prohibited from owning animals for kicking, dragging and punching his Staffordshire terrier during three separate incidents in Kewdale and Belmont.

Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday heard an RSPCA WA inspector seized the dog named Butch in October 2023 after a member of the public reported seeing the offender forcefully kicking her in the stomach and backside while walking in front of oncoming traffic on Gabriel Street in Kewdale.

Later that day, members of the public say they saw the man beating the dog in the backyard of a Kewdale property.

They observed him dragging and lifting the dog by her collar, throwing her on a couch, holding her up by her collar and beating her in the lower back for three to four minutes with what appeared to be a broomstick, pinning her down and picking her up by the head before smashing her into the ground and then forcefully slapping her.

That evening, he was seen forcefully punching the dog in the chest three times at the Belmont Forum Shopping Centre before he kicked and dragged her across the carpark. A member of the public described Butch as being terrified and scared of the man. The person intervened and told him to stop hurting her. He yelled and swore at the person before whacking Butch with an open hand and forcefully punching her with a closed fist.

Butch was seized and conveyed to the Malaga Animal Care Centre where it was found she likely suffered soft tissue injuries causing pain for several days. She has been recovering in foster care.

In sentencing, Magistrate Anthony Sullivan said the offender had a “history of violent and anti-social behaviour” and his actions were very serious such that fines were not appropriate in the matter.

Inspector Manager Kylie Green said the incidents were blatantly malicious and caused enduring psychological harm.

“It’s hard to comprehend someone treating their dog in such a brutal way,” she said.

“These attacks would have been traumatic and painful for Butch. Those who witnessed them would have been distraught too. Our pets rely on us for everything, including safety and nurture. To deliberately break that trust in such a callous way is hard to comprehend.”

The offender was charged under sections 19(1) and 19(2)(a) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. He was found to have been cruel to an animal in that he maliciously beat the dog. Magistrate Sullivan made a forfeiture order for Butch and the offender was ordered to pay $3,373.51 in compensation and legal costs.

The maximum penalty 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 at rspcawa.org.au.