The severity appeal of a 39-year-old woman who was convicted and sentenced inrelation to multiple counts of animal cruelty towards her severely neglected,paralysed dog was withdrawn and dismissed, and the conviction and sentenceimposed in the Local Court upheld, at the Sydney District Court today.

On 30 August 2019, the woman appeared at Downing Centre Local Court where shereceived an aggregate sentence by way of a 10-month intensive correctionsorder, subject to conditions that during the term of the order she is of goodbehaviour, appear before the court if called upon, and undertake 75 hours ofcommunity service. She was prohibited from purchasing, acquiring, takingpossession or custody of any animal for five years.

The dog, a black and white Maltese cross Jack Russell Terrier named JayZ, wasonly able to move himself by dragging his two hind legs at the time he wasseized from a Lilyfield unit by an RSPCA inspector on 27 February 2019. Thewoman said she had attempted to use a spray and bandage to cover the woundbefore leaving him at the unit in her mother’s care and going on a four-daycruise.

An RSPCA vet found the dog had an open wound exposing bone on his right hindleg that measured 35 square centimetres, alopecia hair loss, muscle wastage inboth hind limbs, a dried and swollen penis, fleas, periodontal disease andovergrown nails in both forelimb dew claws.

After a comprehensive physical examination of his condition, the veterinariandeemed it cruel to keep the dog alive and he was humanely euthanised.

The veterinary report concluded that the paralysis of the dog’s hind legs waslikely caused by untreated intervertebral disc disease. As a result ofdragging his hind limbs, constant pressure was placed on his ankle jointleading to an ulcerated wound that became so severe that the bone becameexposed.

Anemia was detected, likely caused by his flea burden or blood loss from hisopen wound. The dog had needed vet treatment for periodontal disease for atleast three months prior to examination. He had needed treatment for fleas forat least two weeks prior to examination, and treatment for ear infections forat least one week prior to examination. The District Court judge commented indismissing the appeal that it is because, “…these living animals are sodependent on us that we have a high duty of care. It’s because of that, thatif I were sentencing you at first instance, I would have been looking at amore serious penalty. It’s not just you…there’s too much animal cruelty in ourcommunity.”

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