23 March 2023

A 31-year-old woman has been banned from owning pets for three years, after one dog was found dead, and another starving, in the backyard of her Bunbury home last year.

In Bunbury Magistrates Court today, the offender, who pleaded guilty at an earlier date, also received a 12-month community-based order, with supervision and programming requirements. She will be required to pay court and care costs totalling $2001.51 to the RSPCA.

RSPCA WA was alerted to the dogs’ plight by a local ranger, who was told the accused had not been at the house for about five weeks.

On 4 July 2022, the ranger took the two dogs to a nearby vet, where the deceased dog–a male Staffy-cross–was found to be severely emaciated. The other dog–a female Jack Russell-cross named Milo–had a body condition score of just 1.5 out of 5.

Since coming into care, Milo’s weight has almost doubled. She continues to recover with an experienced foster carer and has now been forfeited into RSPCA WA’s care.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said the situation was heartbreaking and completely avoidable.

‘The law is clear that we must provide our pets with adequate food and water,’ she said.

‘These dogs were starving to death in their own backyard and their suffering would have been immense.

‘If Milo hadn’t been found by rangers, she too would have likely died from hunger and thirst.’

Ms Green said it was up to owners to make proper plans for their pets’ care.

‘If you’re going away and not taking your pets, you must make arrangements for your animals to be looked after properly, preferably by a pet sitter or reputable boarding facility,’ she said.

Ms Green thanked City of Bunbury rangers for their assistance with this case.

The offender was sentenced under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The court found she failed to provide the dogs with proper and sufficient food.

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 here.