18 June 2014

A 27-year-old woman, who formerly resided in Rockingham, has been fined $3000 for animal cruelty in Rockingham Magistrates Court. She was also ordered to pay RSPCA WA more than $1000 in costs.

On September 21st, 2012 the RSPCA received a cruelty complaint from Greyhound Adoptions WA regarding a five-year-old greyhound called "Target" returned to them in a severely emaciated condition.

Emily Elks, who now resides in Victoria, originally adopted Target from Greyhound Adoptions WA Inc. on 7th May 2012 but returned the dog to the organisation in September that year as she "could not care for Target."

When Elks returned the dog, a co-ordinator for Greyhound Adoptions WA Inc observed that Target was in a shocking condition with his rib cage and spinal cord protruding and stated that she was "horrified" at the condition of Target.

The coordinator took Target to a local vet clinic for immediate treatment. Target was discharged from the vet into the care of Greyhound Adoptions WA Inc where he currently resides.

When Elks and her partner adopted the dog in May, conditions for the adoption of the dog were outlined to Elks and her partner which included advice on dietary and exercise requirements, induction, training sheet as well as the need for regular vet treatment.

On 21 September 2012, an RSPCA Inspector conducted a record of interview with Elks who said she fed the dog and she thought the dog was stressed due to her partner working away as a technician in the Navy.

Elks admitted to the RSPCA Inspector that the dog was malnourished and required vet treatment.

Elks sought a spent conviction however the Magistrate refused, stating his reason that there needs to be a strong deterrent effect to the community in making the conviction.

Commenting on the case, Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said "We cannot stress enough that people need to think very carefully about an animal's needs before committing to adopting or purchasing. It's sad to think that Target was in need of a forever loving home and this person clearly let him down, even though they had received advice and guidance. There is no excuse to let the dog get into such a state of neglect.

Thanks must go to Greyhound Adoptions WA for their action in seeking justice for Target and ensuring we were able to make this person accountable for their actions. They have worked closely with us and assisted in the investigation."

Greyhound Target severely emaciated 2014