24 October 2022

A 47-year-old woman has been fined $5000 and banned from owning or being in contact with pets for three years, after her dog was found emaciated at her Beechboro home.

The Midland Magistrates Court heard an RSPCA WA inspector attended the woman’s address in April, following a cruelty report from the City of Swan.

The inspector used a ladder to look over a fence into the backyard. She says she saw a female brindle American Staffordshire crossbreed dog, Rahni, whom she described as ‘severely emaciated’.

The outline of the four-year-old dog’s hips, ribs and spine were all clearly visible and her eyes sunken.

The inspector was able to reach Rahni’s owner on the phone—she said she was away but alleged that she had organised for someone to come in and feed the dog. When asked for this person’s details, the offender declined to give them to the inspector.

Given Rahni’s skinny condition, the lack of any available food, and the dirty state of the yard, the inspector seized her.

A vet examination found Rahni had a body condition score of 2 out of 9. She had minimal muscle and no palpable fat. Rahni continues to recover with an RSPCA WA foster carer. She has gained 10kg.

Inspector Manager, Kylie Green, said neglecting an animal’s most basic needs remained the number one reason for animal cruelty investigations.

‘Allegations of not providing food, water, shelter or vet care make up most of the calls we receive,’ Inspector Green said.

‘They are the minimal, basic requirements of owning a pet and people are falling at the first hurdle time after time.

‘If you’re going away, it is your responsibility to ensure your pets are looked after.’

The woman was convicted under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002, namely that she was cruel to an animal in that she did not provide sufficient food.

The Magistrate ordered she pay $638.30 in court and treatment costs to RSPCA WA.

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 online.