A 56-year-old man was convicted and sentenced at Liverpool Local Court on 17January 2020 for committing an act of aggravated cruelty towards his pet dog.

The man was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order, subject tothe conditions that during the term of the order he be of good behaviour andappears before the court if required. He was fined $1,000 with moiety awardedto RSPCA NSW, and banned from purchasing, acquiring or taking possession orcustody of any animal for a period of five years. He was also ordered toattend Liverpool Police Station for fingerprinting.

On 18 December 2018, RSPCA inspectors attended a Green Valley home where theyfound a severely emaciated little dog, a white Maltese Terrier crossbreed,lying on the ground. The dog was immobile and did not react as the inspectorsapproached. He had a large wound on his back covered in flies and pus.

The inspectors were told that the dog had not been to a vet. The defendant andhis mother said the wound had been there for a couple of weeks and they hadput ‘Voltaren’ anti-inflammatory cream on it. They agreed to surrender the dogto RSPCA. The dog was transported immediately to the RSPCA Sydney VeterinaryHospital for urgent examination and treatment.

The dog was given intravenous methadone for mitigating his severe pain. He wasplaced on oxygen supplementation while he was being examined.

The vet’s initial assessment found the dog was emaciated (body condition scoreof 5/5). He was weak, unable to stand for more than a few seconds, andmentally dull. The large, severely ulcerated wound on his back was dischargingpus and contained live maggots. He showed symptoms of haemorrhagic diarrhoea,a disorder characterised by vomiting and bloody diarrhoea that affects smalldogs especially. His coat was matted around the ears and soaked with bloodydiarrhoea around the perianal and tail region. He had a mild flea burden andmost of his teeth were missing. Blood tests showed a significant increase inwhite bloods cells as well as severe anaemia, low blood glucose and low bloodalbumin, all resulting from sepsis.

The examining vet determined that the dog was so sick and disabled with asystemic infection that it was too cruel to keep him alive and he was humanelyeuthanised.

The vet determined the man failed to provide veterinary treatment for thedog’s wound which caused serious illness, disablement and systemic infection,ultimately resulting in a situation where it was too cruel for the dog to bekept alive. If the dog had been provided with veterinary treatment in timelymanner, and appropriate wound treatment, he would not have become soemaciated, debilitated and systemically unwell. The defendant showed acomplete lack of basic care for the old and sick little dog.

“Members of the community must seek appropriate veterinary treatment foranimals that are sick, wounded and unwell. RSPCA and other animal welfareagencies offer options for financial support to those who may not be able toafford the costs. There is no excuse for allowing the health and wellbeing ofan animal in your care to deteriorate to such a poor state,” said RSPCA NSWDeputy Chief Inspector Aaron Purcell.

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