29 January 2024

A 27-year-old woman has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving her dog and cat locked inside without adequate water and food for approximately two weeks.

An RSPCA WA inspector attended the woman’s Belmont property in September 2023 after receiving a cruelty report from a City of Belmont ranger who had seen a female white and brindle-coloured American bulldog and a female black and white cat inside the house.

The ranger expressed concern as they knew the water had been turned off at the property. After obtaining an urgent warrant to enter the property, the inspector found there was a build-up of faeces and urine in the hallway and several rooms as well as empty food packets chewed open by the animals.

One of the cat’s front legs had been caught in her collar which resulted in a red wound on the lefthand side of her neck.

The inspector gave the animals water which they drank continuously for several minutes, before she obtained an urgent warrant to enter the property and transported them to Perth Vet Emergency.

Upon assessment, it was found the dog was severely emaciated with a body condition score of 1/9, with 5/9 considered ideal, and was severely dehydrated.

The cat also had a very poor body condition with a score of 3/9, with 5/9 considered ideal, and was severely dehydrated and suffering from dermatitis.

Both animals were given intravenous fluids and placed on feeding programmes to improve their body scores. Both are recovering in foster care.

The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege she was cruel to an animal in that she did not provide proper and sufficient food and water to the animals.

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

The charge will be heard in Perth Magistrates Court on 16 February 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.