October/November court files: Prison for owner of Marley

Suspended prison term for a man who allowed his dog to suffer chronic dental decay and cancer

A 50-year-old man who allowed his dog to suffer one of the worst cases of chronic dental disease RSPCA South Australia’s vet team has ever seen was given a suspended jail term.

Following a cruelty report, RSPCA SA inspectors attended at a Woodville Gardens property on 24 September 2020, where they seized the 15-year-old, male King Charles Cavalier Spaniel cross, named Marley.

The dog was emaciated, weighing just 12.4kg and with a BCS (body condition score) of 1/5. BCS is a scale that allocates body score from 1/5 (extremely emaciated) to 3/5 (healthy body weight) to 5/5 (extreme obesity).

Marley’s mouth and nostrils were swollen and inflamed, and a vile odour indicated chronic infection. Under anaesthesia, dental examination revealed the dog’s lips, gums and the front 70% of his mouth were all ulcerated.

Only five of Marley’s 42 teeth were able to be saved; the remainder all needed to be removed due to advanced dental decay. In addition, the dog was found to be suffering from underlying cancer of the lips and oral cavity. Post-surgery, Marley was put on to a strict dietary regime in a bid to increase his weight, but this was unsuccessful.

Despite ongoing intensive veterinary care including pain medication, the dog’s condition continued to deteriorate and the decision to humanely euthanase him was made.

The defendant pleaded guilty to a charge under SA’s Animal Welfare Act of failing to take reasonable steps to mitigate harm suffered by an animal.

In the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court, Magistrate Paul Foley sentenced the defendant to a prison term of two months and 24 days, suspended on a 1-month good behaviour bond of $200.

The man is prohibited from owning any animals until further order

Cases currently underway

A man and a woman from the northern suburbs are due to appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates court later this month to face two charges of ill-treatment of an animal in relation to two dogs, one of which was found emaciated and deceased. The second dog, also found emaciated but alive, has since been rehomed.

A man and a woman from SA’s Murray Mallee region are due to appear in the Berri Magistrates court next month to face a charge of ill-treatment of an animal in relation to a dog, found in emaciated condition, tethered to a tree. The dog recovered and has been rehomed.

A woman from SA’s Riverland is due to appear in the Berri Magistrates court next month to face four charges of ill-treatment of an animal in relation to one cat, found emaciated and deceased, one dog found emaciated but alive, and two kittens. All animals were allegedly being kept inside small aviaries with faeces-covered floors and had no water.

A northern suburbs man is due to face the Elizabeth Magistrates court next month to face two charges of ill-treatment of an animal in relation to a dog found in an emaciated state, with a large abscess/swelling on one front paw that was emitting pus and required treatment. The dog recovered and was rehomed.

A northern suburbs couple is due to face the Elizabeth Magistrates court next month. The female defendant is charged with twice failing to comply with an Animal Welfare Notice requiring provision of adequate shade and shelter for two dogs. Both defendants are charged with alleged failure to provide one of the dogs with appropriate and adequate living conditions.

Two men are due to face the Elizabeth Magistrates court next month for the first day of a trial on 30 charges relating to the alleged long term neglect of multiple farm animals on a property in the Mid-North.

A northern suburbs couple is due to face the Elizabeth Magistrates court next month charged with alleged failure to mitigate harm suffered by a dog, found emaciated and deceased with a foreign body obstructing its gastrointestinal tract.

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