WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: A man responsible for leaving a tumour on his dog’s face untreated for more than a year has successfully appealed the severity of his sentence.
The 44-year-old man from Wyong, on the NSW Central Coast, was convicted last year of aggravated cruelty after his four-year-old brindle English Staffordshire Terrier was discovered with an untreated large tumour.
After receiving a complaint in February, 2019 an RSPCA inspector attended the man’s property to check the dog.
The man surrendered the animal and an examining veterinarian determined it would be cruel to keep the dog alive, so it was humanely euthanised, RSPCA NSW said in a statement on Wednesday.
“A certificate of expert evidence by the examining veterinarian considered that the tumour on the dog had been allowed to develop to such a large size, over a long period of time, that it was affecting the dog’s wellbeing,” the RSPCA said.
Eight months later, the man pleaded guilty and was convicted of committing an act of aggravated cruelty and of failing to provide veterinary treatment to his pet dog.
He was sentenced to serve a period of home detention as punishment, but Gosford District Court altered the conditions after he successfully appealed the severity of his sentence on May 27 this year.
RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers said that it is “crucial that pet owners seek veterinary treatment for their sick, injured or unhealthy animals in a timely manner”.
“Organisations like ours can provide assistance to those in need of extra help, advice or support so that we as a community can work towards improving animal welfare outcomes together,” he said.
Man allowed to keep two other dogs
Instead it was requested that he participate in a mental health program or treatment plan as directed by Community Corrections.
The man also was required to report by telephone to Wyong Community Corrections, and was banned from purchasing, acquiring, taking possession or custody of any animal for two years.
He was allowed to keep two other dogs already owned by him.
More than a thousand people reacted to RSPCA NSW’s post about the case on Facebook. Some questioned why the dog was put down if the tumour was benign.
“Any surgical interventions were not possible due to the time and positioning of the tumour and would not have given the dog any quality of life sadly,” RSPCA responded.
“The decision was made to ensure the dog did not continue to suffer.”
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