20 November 2023

A 55-year-old man and 49-year-old woman have been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving their elderly dog to suffer from a growth on his tongue which had caused necrosis.

RSPCA WA alleges the condition left the Japanese spitz dog unable to eat properly and he was emaciated as a result.

In June 2023, the RSPCA received a cruelty report about a dog at an Embleton home that appeared very unwell and was frothing at the mouth.

During her investigation, an RSPCA WA inspector observed the dog was in a poor and underweight condition with blood-tinged saliva and pus dripping from his mouth. She noted his coat was extremely dirty, and he was lying on a mouldy dog bed.

The female accused allegedly told the inspector the dog was ‘just getting old’.

The inspector seized the dog and took him to an emergency vet who noted the dog’s tongue was immobile due to the mass and necrosis, that he was severely emaciated with a body score of two out of nine, and that he had a mass on his anus.

The following day, while under general anaesthetic at the RSPCA in Malaga, the dog stopped breathing and passed away.

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

The charges will be heard in Perth Magistrates Court on 24 November 2023.

The maximum penalty for a charge of animal cruelty 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