A 68-year-old Strathfield man has been sentenced to an 18-month CommunityCorrection Order and fined $14,000 for conduct including acts of animalcruelty beneath his wife’s Blacktown veterinary clinic.
The man was sentenced at Parramatta Local Court on 10 February 2022 forconduct relating to eight brachycephalic dogs. He pleaded guilty to failing toprovide veterinary treatment to six of the dogs for a variety of conditions,and to committing an act of aggravated cruelty against three of the dogs, forwhom his failure to provide vet treatment resulted in serious disablement.
A further offence involving multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Code ofPractice – Breeding Dogs and Cats was also taken into account on sentence.
On 8 May 2020, RSPCA NSW inspectors and a RSPCA NSW veterinarian attended theBlacktown property in response to a complaint about the condition of FrenchBulldog puppies the defendant had advertised for sale on Gumtree.
While the upper level of the property operated as a veterinary clinic, abreeding facility occupied the lower level garage area, housing a total of 10dogs. There was no form of temperature control inside the garage and, once thedoors were closed, no ventilation. At the time of the inspection, the animalswere being kept in darkness and in a hazardous environment that did not complywith the relevant Code of Practice.
Six French Bulldogs and two English Bulldogs were seized and transported tothe RSPCA NSW Veterinary Hospital for immediate veterinary treatment.
The dogs were found to have a range of untreated veterinary conditionsincluding dermatitis (a condition exacerbated by features like excessive skinfolds), fly-bite, ear infection, a fractured tooth, and roundworm.
Significantly, six dogs were suffering from brachycephalic obstructive airwaysyndrome (BOAS) for which treatment had not been provided, causing themconstant breathing issues.
These dogs underwent surgeries to relieve various respiratory obstructionsarising from BOAS, including procedures to widen their nostrils, shorten theirsoft palates, and remove soft tissue masses blocking their airways. BOAS wasmost serious in three French Bulldogs whose conditions had been allowed todeteriorate to the point of serious disablement, with irreversible structuralchanges to their airways.
Even after specialist care, these three dogs remain at risk of respiratorycollapse and require lifelong accommodations such as exercise restriction,ambient temperature control and careful weight management to ensure theirwelfare.
On 14 May 2020, the defendant surrendered all eight dogs to RSPCA NSW.
The Court sentenced the defendant to an 18-month Community Correction Ordersubject to standard conditions and fined him a total of $14,000.00.
Magistrate Grogin ordered the defendant to pay animal care costs of $15,000.00and professional costs of $3,524.91 to RSPCA NSW, while also disqualifying himfrom owning or keeping any animal for five years.
“The conditions these dogs were living in were unacceptable, and consideringwhere the offence occurred, you would expect more from someone close to theprofession of animal welfare,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers.
“Putting profit before the health of animals will not be tolerated.”
If you have animal welfare concerns, please call RSPCA NSW to investigate on1300 CRUELTY.
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