19 December 2023

A 26-year-old Clarkson woman who threw her dog off the top of a two-storey carpark has today been jailed for 12 months.

The shocking incident was captured on CCTV at Westfield Whitford City shopping centre on 7 April 2022.

The sentence consists of 10 months prison for the animal cruelty charge and two months for other police matters. She was also banned from owning an animal for 10 years.

Ten-year-old Maltese shih-tzu Princess fell nine metres after being thrown and was found by a member of the public, who assumed she’d been hit by a car.

Princess was rushed to a nearby vet and was found to be in a state of shock with severe injuries, including possible internal haemorrhaging, brain injury, and spinal and pelvic trauma.

The vet checked Princess’s microchip and contacted the offender, who was listed as her owner.

The offender attended the vet with her partner to discuss the extent of the dog’s injuries and the cost of treatment, ultimately deciding on euthanasia.

In sentencing, Magistrate Mark Millington said the offender had left Princess for dead in what he described as a ‘planned, deliberate and intentional act’.

He said the offender displayed a lack of remorse and consistently attempted to shift the blame and make excuses for her behaviour.

RSPCA WA says the offender confessed to the cruel act on Facebook, saying she couldn’t ‘live with the guilt’, but later deleted the post and told an inspector her account had been hacked.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said the CCTV vision shows the offender appearing to argue with her partner, repeatedly dangling Princess over the side of the carpark, and allowing her to walk along the roof edge, for a period of around eight minutes.

‘This case was one of the most distressing I’ve seen in my 11 years as an inspector and was a callous and extremely confronting display of animal cruelty,’ she said.

‘Dogs can be so trusting, and they rely on their owners to keep them safe. I can’t think of a more disgusting betrayal of that trust.

‘Today’s outcome delivers some justice for the pain and terror poor Princess endured in her final hours.

‘I hope it also sends a clear message to the community that intentional cruelty towards animals is extremely serious and won’t be tolerated.’

The offender was sentenced for ill-treating an animal under sections 19(1) and 19(2)(a) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

Earlier this year, her 23-year-old partner from Madeley, who was present during the incident, was fined $2,500 and banned from owning animals for three years for failing to seek vet care for Princess.

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