A 55-year-old Prairiewood man was convicted and sentenced at Fairfield LocalCourt on 22 January 2020 for aggravated cruelty towards his German Shepherddog.

The man was fined $2,000.00 and ordered to pay $717.00 in veterinary costs toRSPCA NSW. He was also banned from purchasing, acquiring or taking possessionor custody of any animal for a period of five years.

On 17 January 2019, an RSPCA inspector entered the backyard of a Prairiewoodproperty and found a male black and tan German Shepherd in very poor bodycondition. The dog’s ears were severely fly-bitten and appeared disfigured. Hehad bleeding wounds on both hind feet and had difficulty walking.

The inspector deemed the dog to be high risk and seized him for immediateexamination and treatment. When the inspector attempted to transfer the dog toher vehicle, the dog collapsed and had to be carried.

The dog was taken to RSPCA’s Sydney Veterinary Hospital for urgent assessment.The examining vet determined the dog to be severely emaciated a body conditionscore of 5/5), with enlarged peripheral lymph nodes, wounds on his hind paws,oedema (fluid retention) around his testicles and both hocks, severe fly biteson his ears, and non-regenerative anaemia (where the bone marrow does notadequately increase red blood cell production in response to anaemia) due to achronic inflammatory disease.

Due to the dog’s difficulty breathing, inability to stand, severely poor bodycondition and extreme lethargy, it was deemed cruel to keep him alive and hewas humanely euthanised.

A post-mortem examination found all his lymph nodes were enlarged, and showedlumps on the dog’s spleen, liver and lungs. Tissue samples from the lymphnodes, spleen, intestines, lungs and liver found widely disseminated largecell lymphoma (cancer) throughout his body.

The defendant, the property owner and person in charge of the dog, admittedthat he had noticed the dog’s rapid weight loss over the prior three weeks,and that he was aware the dog had fly bite on his ears. He did not seekveterinary treatment for the dog, instead applying Vicks and vinegar to hisears two or three times a week.

The veterinary report found that the defendant failed to provide necessaryveterinary treatment for the dog’s injuries and illnesses. The seriouslyaggressive large cell lymphoma was left untreated for no less than four weeks,allowing it to rapidly spread to different parts of the dog’s body, affectinghis ability to absorb nutrients. There was no palliative treatment provided,which would have slowed down the cancer growth and improved his quality oflife. The dog’s quality of life instead deteriorated quickly and led tounnecessary pain and suffering. The dog’s fly-bitten ears were left untreatedfor no less than two weeks, which resulted in severe infection, pain and thedeformity of his ears. The dog’s paw wounds were left untreated for no lessthan a week, causing pain and leaving him prone to infection. “It isunthinkably cruel to allow an animal to slowly die of a disease as destructiveas cancer,” said RSPCA NSW Deputy Chief Inspector Aaron Purcell. “Every petowner has the responsibility to ensure their pet is examined and assessed by aprofessional so that the animal does not needlessly suffer.”

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