A 45-year-old Narrikup man has today been sentenced after pleading guilty to animal cruelty in the Albany Magistrates Court.
The offender freely admitted to hitting two healthy black Shih Tzu Maltese cross dogs, belonging to his wife, on the head with a mallet several times in an attempt to kill them.
He was fined a total of $15,000 and banned from owning any animal for three years.
The man was charged with two counts of being cruel to an animal, the dogs named Jet and Henry, under Section 19(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.
In July 2019, the offender drove Jet and Henry, aged 2 years, to a tree plantation outside of Albany with the intention of killing them.
He told police he let the dogs run around for a while to tire them so they would be easier to handle, before separating them in long grass so they couldn’t see each other.
He then hit each dog on the head with a mallet once. Jet made a noise—the offender then hit him three more times on the head, thinking Jet was dead when he saw him shiver and could see blood.
He then returned to Henry whom he also struck ‘a few more times’ on the head before throwing the mallet into the bushes and driving away.
The next day, the RSPCA received a cruelty complaint from a local vet clinic about a dog with head injuries who had been found in the tree plantation.
The dog was identified as Jet and the RSPCA liaised with Mount Barker police who went to the offender’s property where he openly admitted to taking both Jet and Henry to bushland and hitting them on the head with a mallet with the intent to kill them.
Despite searches at the tree plantation over the next couple of days, Henry could not be found. Six days after the attack, the RSPCA received news that Henry had been located and was at the Albany pound with multiple head injuries.
RSPCA WA Executive Manager Animal and Enforcement Operations, Hannah Dreaver, said this was a shocking case of blatant cruelty.
“Between them, Jet and Henry sustained horrific injuries including deep head wounds, a fractured eye socket, bleeding in the eye, swelling, bruising, infection and severe dehydration.
“To be treated so brutally and then left to suffer for all that time—they must have been in immense pain and terrified.”
The offender freely admitted he didn’t look at options for surrendering these healthy dogs, or other options of euthanasia.
He currently owns two cats which he has been given a month to re-home.
After receiving initial treatment to stabilise their conditions at a vet in Albany, Jet and Henry were transferred to the RSPCA Animal Care Centre in Malaga for extended care and treatment. Both dogs made a full recovery and have been rehomed.
“Our animals deserve our love and care—they rely on us for everything and it’s our job to make sure we give it to them. To betray their trust in a way as brutal as this is just unfathomable.”
Hannah thanked the Mira Mar Vet Clinic, Mount Barker police and Albany rangers for their assistance in this case.
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 at rspcawa.asn.au