21 February 2024

A 71-year-old Bullsbrook woman has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving a black German Shepherd tethered under a homemade tin shelter on a property in Hines Hill.

An RSPCA WA inspector attended the Wheatbelt property in October 2023 after being contacted by a WA police officer and a local ranger, she found the dog inside a fenced off area, chained under a tin structure.

The fenced off area was predominantly in full sun – it was 38 degrees.

The police officer and ranger had been providing the dog with food and water for a few days prior to the inspector’s attendance. The only water available to the dog prior to that was warm and green, with algae and dead insects floating in it.

A few dog biscuits were scattered on the ground inside the enclosure but there was otherwise no food available prior to the intervention of the ranger and police officer.

When first found, the dog’s tether had tangled to just one metre in length. The inspector noted a slight build-up of faeces in the enclosure.

The dog was seized and transported to RSPCA WA Animal Care Centre in Malaga where a vet noted she had an extremely dirty coat and alopecia patches around her neck, ear infections, limited food in her stomach, bacterial gut infections, and was mildly dehydrated.

The accused has been charged under sections 19(1), 19(3)(b)(ii), 19(3)(d) and 19(3)(e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege she was cruel to an animal in that she restrained the dog in a way in which it was likely to cause harm, did not provide sufficient food and water, and did not provide adequate shelter from the elements.

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

The charge will be heard in Merredin Magistrates Court on 6 March 2024.

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.