A 60-year-old man is facing 28 charges of animal cruelty after RSPCA inspectors seized 39 labradoodles from his Bridgetown home in January.
It will be alleged the accused was running a breeding operation purely to cash in on the popularity of the Labrador poodle crossbreeds, with no concern for the dogs’ welfare, health, and safety.
The man was selling the puppies for around $5000 each.
The RSPCA attended the man’s property after receiving a cruelty report from a member of the public who had been to the house to buy a dog.
The inspector reported finding filthy, squalid conditions reeking of urine and faeces.
There were large piles of rubbish present, a lot of dogs running everywhere that were barking and fighting, and the older dogs had matted and dirty coats with faeces in their fur.
The inspector observed puppies hiding in wet pools of urine while being stood on by the bigger dogs, some were lethargic, non-responsive and not exhibiting normal behaviour; one was stuck down the side of the bed, and one was seen drinking stagnant water from an open, broken sewerage pipe.
The inspector noted there were wet and dirty dog beds in the corners of the room and no fresh food or water available for the dogs and puppies.
On examination by a vet, the dogs and puppies were found to be suffering from a variety of conditions including ear and other infections, conjunctivitis, embedded grass seeds, heavily matted fur, weight issues and dental disease.
Many of these dogs were also found to be suffering from significant psychological harm, as determined by a veterinary behaviourist.
The alleged offender has been charged under section 19 of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. He is accused of animal cruelty; namely confining or restraining the dogs in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harm and, allowing the dogs to suffer harm which could be alleviated by the taking of reasonable steps.
The charges will be heard in Manjimup Magistrates Court on 16 June.
The maximum penalty for each of the 28 animal cruelty charges is a $50,000 fine and five years in prison.
Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or online here.