24 November 2023

A 34-year-old Perth man has been fined $2000 and banned from owning animals for two years after he left a dog locked in a laundry for at least four days, without access to adequate food or water.

The fine was suspended for 12 months.

RSPCA WA received a report from WA Police in June 2022 about a skinny Staffy crossbreed locked in one room at a property in Koondoola.

The dog, Bella, was living with the offender’s mother who had been admitted to hospital.

The offender had assured police he would look after the dog in his mother’s absence, however, checks by an RSPCA WA inspector showed the dog remained in the laundry with a tin of unopened dog food on the washing machine and an empty bucket lying on its side.

Several attempts by the inspector to reach the offender proved unsuccessful so the dog was seized.

Perth Magistrates Court today heard when the RSPCA inspector entered the laundry, the floor, as well as Bella, were covered in urine and faeces. She saw some dog biscuits on the ground, but they were among the dog’s waste.

Inspector Manager Kylie Green said the offender had let Bella down.

‘Promising to look after someone’s dog while they’re in hospital isn’t a ‘maybe’ or ‘if I get round to it’ promise,’ she said.

‘As the court determined today, the offender was responsible for Bella’s welfare during that time.

‘Bella had no other options - she was totally reliant on him for her most basic needs of food and water, not to mention what it would have felt like to be locked in a tiny laundry for four days.’

The offender was convicted under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. He was found to have been cruel to an animal in that he did not provide Bella with sufficient food and water.

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