RSPCA Victoria successfully prosecutes owner who left dog to die

RSPCA Victoria is ensuring owners who do not look after their animals are held to account, after another disturbing case of gross neglect was finalised in court.

After receiving a report that a deceased dog had been observed in a rear yard, an RSPCA Victoria Inspector attended a property in Newborough and found the carcass of a small white terrier dog lying on a concrete driveway.

A neighbour had been alerted by a smell emanating from the owner’s backyard over a period of two weeks and had raised concerns about the animal’s welfare.

The dog, ‘Miyargi’ appeared to have been dead for some time but was relatively well preserved. An RSPCA Victoria Inspector observed Miyargi’s spine, hip and femur bones were visible, suggesting the dog had been in an emaciated state at the time of death.

A necropsy revealed generalised muscle atrophy and the absence of body fat, with a vet determining the cause of death was severe emaciation caused by prolonged nutritional deficiency. Miyargi had a body score condition of just one out of five and there was no food material found in his stomach or intestine.

Furthermore, the absence of any other gross abnormalities suggested no other underlying illness had contributed to the dog’s death.

Acting Head of Inspectorate Stuart Marchesani said it was disturbing that the accused had shown so little regard for the terrier’s life.

“This outcome was not only tragic but also wholly preventable,” Mr Marchesani said.

“The dog had obviously been deteriorating for a while, and there is no evidence that the accused made any effort to take the dog to a vet or seek any form of assistance.

“This dog was left to slowly starve to death in the backyard while his owner resided in the house just metres away, and this shocking case of neglect has rightly caused community outrage.

“We want to send the strong message to every animal owner or person in charge of an animal that you have obligations to that animal, and you will absolutely be held to account if you do not meet the required standards of care.

“If your circumstances change and you are no longer able to care for your animal, you owe it to them to do the right thing and seek help or support.”

During an online court hearing, the dog’s owner was convicted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1984 (POCTAA) for:

• 9(1)(f) – failure to provide an animal with sufficient food or drink,

• 9(1)(i) – failure to provide veterinary or other appropriate attention or treatment,and

• 10 (1) – committing an act of aggravated cruelty which results in the death or serious disablement of an animal.

The accused was convicted and fined $7,500 as part of an aggregate order and was disqualified from being the person in charge of any animal for a period of seven years.


RSPCA Victoria relies on the local community to assist with investigations by providing information and even the smallest detail can help. Anyone who has knowledge or information relating animal cruelty is encouraged to contact RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate via or by calling 9224 2222.

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