11 December 2023

A 40-year-old man and 39-year-old woman are facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly leaving their dog to suffer severe skin allergies untreated.

RSPCA WA inspectors attended the husband and wife’s Port Kennedy home in March 2022 after receiving a report about a brindle and while female American Staffy crossbreed at the property.

They observed the four-year-old dog in a yard containing a large amount of faeces.

They described the dog as having many signs of severe allergies including several patches of missing fur, raised lumps, and thickened, cracked, flaking skin. The dog was also scratching incessantly, and her ears were emitting a potent smell.

The male accused allegedly told inspectors the yard hadn’t been cleared of faeces in around six weeks, that the dog had never been to a vet for her skin condition, and she hadn’t received flea prevention treatment for approximately three months.

The male accused surrendered the dog to the RSPCA. A vet examination noted she was suffering from a flea infestation, had severe and chronic generalised skin disease, conjunctivitis, alopecia, and other allergy related issues. Both ears were infected.

The dog was rehabilitated by RSPCA WA and has since been adopted.

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

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

The charges will be heard in Rockingham Magistrates Court on 15 December 2023.