A 44-year-old man from Swan View pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty and was sentenced in Midland Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 26 May.

The charges under section 19 of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 relate to his dog Max – an American Bulldog cross. The offender failed to take reasonable steps to alleviate harm to Max, which included ongoing pain.

He was fined $3,500, and was ordered to pay legal costs of $345.60 and vet costs totalling $3055.69. He is prohibited from being in charge of, or in contact with, an animal for a period of three years.image of skinny dog

Max was seized by an RSPCA WA Inspector in May 2018, following a report from a concerned community member. He was taken to an external vet for emergency treatment, and was found to have a ruptured growth on his scrotum. He was also found to be underweight, with a body condition score of one out of five.

Biopsies of Max’s wound taken by RSPCA vets indicated the growth was a cancerous mass, which had been left untreated and was now infected.

Image of dog with cancerous growthDespite treating his pain and the infection, Max showed little sign of relief. He was transferred to an external vet who determined he was in intolerable pain and even the strongest medication available was having no effect. The only humane option was to end his suffering.

The vet estimated the mass had been growing for at least 2-3 months, and that the infection had been present for a minimum of 1-2 weeks.

Max’s significant pain could have been avoided, or even cured, if the offender had sought medical attention sooner.

Comments attributed to RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift:

“Max’s case is very sad. He should never have been left to suffer like he did, from a condition that could have been treated, or even cured, had his owner taken him to the vet.

“Imagine the pain that he had endured, day in day out, with no relief.

“This is a heartbreaking example of what not to do. If you notice any change in your pet’s behaviour or condition, please seek help as soon as possible.

“Animals rely on their owners for their every need, and taking your pets to the vet when they are ill is a responsibility of pet ownership. If you can’t afford it, ask for help, but please, don’t let your pets suffer needlessly.

“Thank you to the member of the community who noticed Max was in pain and reported it. We rely on the community as our eyes and ears on the ground to report incidents like this, so please don’t be afraid to stand up and be a voice for the voiceless.”