2 January 2024

Three men aged 48, 49 and 71 have each been charged in relation to a dog found suffering from untreated testicular cancer. All three were responsible for the welfare of the dog in question.

In April 2022, an RSPCA WA inspector attended a property in Abba River near Busselton in relation to a report about a dog in ‘very poor condition’.

When she arrived, she saw a 10-year-old Irish Wolfhound confined in a small makeshift cage, the floor of which was covered in fur, mud, wet rags, scrap metal, urine and faeces. There was no food or water available in the cage.

The inspector noted the dog was very underweight and had a large wound in between his legs that appeared infected as it was red and oozing blood and puss.

The dog was seized due to suspected offences and the urgent need to take him to a vet for assessment and treatment.

The vet noted the dog had a large testicular mass that was necrotic, painful, and infected.

He was dehydrated and emaciated, had a heavy flea infestation, and was in pain and discomfort.

The vet’s opinion was that the dog was suffering so severely that euthanasia was the most humane option. The inspector approved humane euthanasia pursuant to s 41 of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

A postmortem confirmed the dog had testicular cancer which had spread to his lymph nodes and kidney. The size of the testicular mass indicated that it had been present for up to one year.

All three accused have been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

RSPCA WA will allege each of the men was 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 the Busselton Magistrates Court on 6 February 2024.

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