A 43-year-old man has today been convicted of animal cruelty for failing to provide enough food to his three-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier-cross breed, Cypress.
The Hamilton Hill man was charged under section 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. He received a $2800 fine, was banned from owning a dog for three years, and ordered to pay costs totalling $400.30, which includes compensation to RSPCA for Cypress’s care.
The Fremantle Magistrates Court heard a severely underweight Cypress was left to stray, ending up in a local pound.
City of Cockburn staff contacted the RSPCA in May, describing Cypress as ‘incredibly emaciated’ with no microchip or collar.
Two days after the report was made, the 43-year-old offender contacted the pound. RSPCA inspectors went to the pound where the man told them he had been feeding Cypress, but he just didn’t put on weight.
Given Cypress’s poor condition, the RSPCA inspectors seized him and took him to the Animal Care Centre in Malaga.
A vet examination revealed Cypress was emaciated with his ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible. He had no palpable fat and a generalised loss of muscle mass.
Cypress was started on a proper diet and in just one month his body weight had increased by 25 per cent, going from 24 kilos to 31 kilos—his ideal healthy weight.
He remains in the care of the RSPCA.
Executive Manager Animal and Enforcement Operations, Hannah Dreaver, said Cypress’s ordeal was an all-too-common tale.
‘Time after time people tell us their dogs just don’t put on weight, despite being fed regularly yet clearly, once again this was simply not true,’ Hannah said.
‘That poor dog was left hungry day after day for goodness knows how long. Our animals rely on us for everything, and we have a legal and moral obligation to ensure they have adequate food, water, shelter and vet care at the very least.
‘I urge anyone who is struggling to care for their pets to reach out for help before it gets to the stage of suffering.’
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.