25 January 2019

A 43 year old Port Kennedy man who was found guilty of animal cruelty in the Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday, 3 January was sentenced today. He was convicted of maliciously beating his female Blue Heeler dog, “Jingle Bells” on 23 August, 2017.

The man has been sentenced to a six-month community based order which includes:

  • 30 hours of community service;
  • a requirement to attend and complete an approved dog training or animal training course; and
  • any other programs Community Corrections consider necessary to address the offending behaviour.

The man has been prohibited from being in contact with animals for six-months during the community based order.

He has also been ordered to pay a substantial financial penalty in the form of vet and care costs of $8,064.66, in addition to legal costs of $7,956.23. The dog was forfeited to the Crown.

The offender was granted a spent conviction.

Jingle Bells has been in care at RSPCA WA since she was seized in August 2017, and has undergone extensive rehabilitation to mend her leg. She continues to undergo behavioural treatment.

On 24 August 2017, an RSPCA Inspector attended the offender’s property in Port Kennedy in response to a report from a concerned community member via the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline.

The offender delivered five to six strikes to the dog including intentionally kicking the dog and delivering three strikes with a hose along with further kicks. The dog was heard yelping in response to these strikes. . The strikes were delivered with significant force, causing her pain and distress.

The Magistrate found the offender intentionally hit the dog to cause it pain, which was more than necessary to discipline a dog, in response to Jingle Bells digging up an apple tree at the offender’s property.

When the Inspector arrived, Jingle Bells was observed dragging her left hind leg and unable to bear weight on it. The Inspector seized Jingle Bells straight away and took her to a local vet where she was examined and found to have a fractured leg. Her leg was treated there before she was brought to the Animal Care Centre in Malaga.

Whilst the Magistrate found that the offender was responsible for that injury it could not be determined if it came from the kick or the five to six strikes, or was due to an unknown reason, including rough play.

Jingle Bells has been in RSPCA’s care since, and is still undergoing behaviour treatment.

Comments attributed to RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift:

“Imagine how this poor dog felt, having her owner, the person she relied on for her every need, treat her so badly.

“This is a reminder to everyone that our pets are members of the family and abusing them is illegal. Cruelty to animals is a serious offence which carries a criminal conviction.

“There is no excuse for the appalling attack Jingle Bells had been subjected to, and we are so thankful to the person who reported seeing this heinous act take place. Without their brave intervention, who knows how much longer Jingle Bells could have suffered.”