A 29-year-old Hebersham woman was convicted and sentenced in Mount DruittLocal Court on Tuesday 17 December 2019, following pleas of guilty to failingto provide veterinary treatment for emaciation to three dogs and failing toprovide veterinary treatment for periodontal disease to two dogs in her care.

The woman was sentenced to a 12-month Conditional Release Order subject toconditions that she is of good behaviour and appears before the court ifcalled upon to do so. The Court further ordered the woman to report to MountDruitt Police Station within 24 hours for the purposes of fingerprinting.

Custody of the three dogs were forfeited to RSPCA NSW and she was ordered topay veterinary and shelter costs of $15,733.72 to RSPCA NSW as well as payRSPCA NSW’s legal costs of $157.27.

She also received a prohibition order banning her from purchasing, acquiring,taking possession or custody of any animal for two years, excluding oneRottweiler cross and three cats currently in her care.

In an agreed fact document tendered on sentence, the Court heard that onMonday 8 April 2019 two RSPCA NSW Inspectors attended the Hebersham propertyin response to an alleged report of six dogs in poor body condition kept atthe premises.

Upon arrival the Inspectors sighted a medium sized black and tan dog and threesmall dogs uncontained in the front yard. The inspectors spoke to the woman atthe Hebersham property and made a list of all six dogs present and theirrespective body conditions.

When questioned about the condition of the dogs, the 29-year-old admitted thatshe was the owner of the three small dogs and the Rottweiler cross whilst herpartner was responsible for the American Staffordshire cross and StaffordshireBull Terrier. She acknowledged that she was aware the dogs had lost weight andagreed that they needed to see a vet but said she did not have the money totake them to the vet at the time.

After examining each dog, the inspectors seized the three small dogsdetermined to be in poor body condition and issued instructions for theRottweiler cross and the American Staffordshire Terrier cross to be providedwith veterinary care within seven days.

The three small dogs, named Demi, Rocky, and Alfie, were presented to a RSPCANSW veterinarian for examination and all three were deemed to have a bodyscore of 5/5, where a score of 5 is classified as emaciated. All dogs ate foodravenously when offered.

The female black and white Papillon, named Demi, was also found to have severeanaemia (low red blood cells), periodontal disease, marked hypoglycaemia (lowblood glucose), mild hypoproteinaemia (low blood protein), mild hypocalcaemia(low blood calcium), and medial luxating patella disease (skeletal abnormalitywhere the “knee-cap” dislocates from the normal anatomical position).

Rocky, a black and tan male Tibetan Spaniel cross Maltese, had mild anaemia,periodontal disease, mild hypoglycaemia, and mild hypocalcaemia, whilst Alfie,the tan coloured male longhaired Chihuahua, also had had mild anaemia and mildhypoglycaemia as well as an open fontanelle (area on the top of the head wherethe skull bones have failed to close).

The veterinary report prepared by the RSPCA NSW veterinarian concluded thatall three dogs presented very unwell and were clinically unstable animals inneed of urgent veterinary treatment. The combination of emaciation,dehydration and anaemia would have resulted in death within days in theseanimals if continued to be left untreated.

All medical conditions identified were preventable conditions resulting from alack of food and routine veterinary care, and the failure to provideveterinary treatment for emaciation and for periodontal disease resulted inunnecessary suffering and discomfort.

Upon sentencing, the Magistrate made remarks about the serious nature of theoffences and noted the dire condition of the animals meant that the dogs wouldhave died if RSPCA NSW had not intervened.

All three dogs improved in health after being in the care of RSPCA NSW; withDemi recording a 40% increase in weight, Rocky increasing by 27% and Alfie’sbody weight increased by 42%.

“Finding emaciated animals is difficult to witness but harder to ignore. RSPCANSW inspectors are here to assist all animals in need, there is no excuse toallow animals to suffer,” says RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers.

“Pet ownership is a privilege and if you find yourself unable to care for yourpet then please contact RSPCA NSW or your nearest animal rescue group forhelp.”

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