A couple who left their dog to suffer with a broken leg for ‘about three weeks’ have been convicted of animal cruelty.
The neglect led to the female American Staffy’s leg having to be amputated.
The 35-year-old woman and 28-year-old man from Eden Hill were fined $4000 each and banned from owning animals for two years in the Midland Magistrates Court today.
The man was also found guilty of obstructing an RSPCA WA inspector. He was fined $500 for the barrage of abuse he unleashed when the inspector refused to disclose who had lodged a cruelty report about his dog.
RSPCA WA attended the couple’s home on 12 January, following a cruelty report.
The inspector spotted the dog, Mazikeen, in the backyard with her left hind leg hanging limp.
The female offender admitted Mazikeen’s leg had been sore for about three weeks, and that the couple had not sought vet treatment or any other assistance.
The male offender then demanded to know who had made the cruelty report, and when the RSPCA WA inspector refused to tell him, he began to verbally abuse and make physical threats of violence towards her.
The inspector left the property and returned later that day with two WA Police officers to seize the dog.
RSPCA WA vets determined the break in Mazikeen’s leg hadn’t happened recently, and that the injury had already started to heal incorrectly. Part of the broken bone could be felt poking through the skin. Due to poor prognosis for repair, and the risk of ongoing pain, amputation was determined as the best option.
Mazikeen, who is around one year old, has made a full recovery and is adjusting well to life on three legs. She remains in foster care with RSPCA WA.
RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said it was alarming that anyone could ignore such a blatant and painful injury. ‘Poor Mazikeen was visibly struggling to walk,’ she said.
‘The owners could clearly see she was injured and in pain, but still they did nothing.
‘While we are sympathetic to the fact owners may fall on hard financial times and may struggle to afford vet care, doing nothing and letting your pet suffer is not a solution.
‘It’s your legal responsibility to provide your pet with the basics, including food, water, shelter and vet care when they need it.
‘If you can’t meet their needs, you must reach out for help sooner rather than later. It’s never OK to let an animal suffer.
‘I’m glad we were able to get Mazikeen the care she needed and some justice today for the pain and distress she endured.’
The couple was charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The court ruled they failed to alleviate harm to Mazikeen by not seeking vet care for her severely displaced femoral facture.
The male offender also breached section 77(a) of the Act by obstructing an RSPCA WA inspector.
Each offender has also been ordered to pay court and care costs totalling $1680.59.
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.