For committing an act of aggravated cruelty, Magistrate Thompson imposed a10-month intensive correction order, with the conditions that Mr Aghaei issupervised by Community Corrections, undergoes a psychiatric assessment, andcommences psychiatric treatment. For failing to provide vet treatment, he wasplaced on a two-year community correction order. She further ordered Mr Aghaeito pay fines of $5,000 for the puppy’s veterinary treatment and he wasprohibited from purchasing, acquiring, taking possession or custody of anyanimal for two years.
The Court heard in agreed facts tendered on sentence that on 4 December 2018,RSPCA inspectors attended Mr Aghaei’s home in response to a complaint ofanimal cruelty. Mr Aghaei told inspectors that Asha belonged to him andadmitted he knew she was limping after he forcefully pushed her off a bed forurinating on it. He said he had not taken her to a vet since the incidentoccurred two days earlier because he was waiting for a Centrelink payment toget health insurance. Asha was seized and transported to RSPCA SydneyVeterinary Hospital in order to receive urgent veterinary treatment for thesevere injuries she had sustained.
An RSPCA veterinarian found that Asha suffered serious fractures in her wrist,hip and ankle. An expert orthopedic veterinarian performed surgery to try andsave Asha’s leg, during which the fractured femoral head was removed from thefemur, in order to remove the source of pain, prevent joint disease fromoccurring and allow a fibrous joint to form in its place. The vet determinedthat there was little likelihood that the wrist or ankle would heal withoutsome deformity, and the puppy’s joints could potentially fuse in a way thatwould not allow any degree of movement. As a result of Mr Aghaei’s actions thepuppy would suffer a permanent deformity
Mr Aghaei failed to provide veterinary treatment to Asha for the multiplefractures over multiple limbs. A dog with one fractured limb would be in pain,but it would be able to compensate by not using the leg. Asha had twofractured limbs on the same side of her body, leaving her with no ability toalleviate the pain and still move. The RSPCA veterinarian determined the puppywas constantly in serious pain from the moment she was hurt until adequatepain relief was provided upon her arrival at the RSPCA clinic.
Magistrate Thompson acknowledged that Mr Aghaei required significant supportin the community, psychological intervention to ensure he did not reoffend andresources to manage the issues affecting his personal life.
She said, “Taking into account [Mr Aghaei’s] limited financial means, theconduct in question is of a sufficiently serious kind…[especially] for theperiod of time in which the dog remained untreated.”
Magistrate Thompson said, “The outcome for this animal was significant andvery dire indeed.”
The puppy was humanely euthanised due to the rapid onset of serious mentalhealth issues affecting her ability to interact with humans and the permanentinjury which was not responding to the treatment provided and would negativelyaffect her quality of life
Puppies sometimes act in a way that upsets their humans. The solution is neverto injure or hurt an animal in your care. Scientific evidence supports the useof positive reinforcement training techniques. Physical violence is never theanswer. The RSPCA recommends owners enrol in puppy pre-school and utilisevarious positive and food-based reward techniques.
RSPCA NSW Deputy Chief Inspector Aaron Purcell said, “This outcome sends astrong message to the community about the expectation that pet ownersimmediately pursue appropriate veterinary treatment for seriously injuredanimals in their care. It is an offence to fail to seek veterinary treatmentfor that animal. Animals do not have voices of their own.”
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