A 68-year-old woman from South Western Sydney has been found guilty of animal cruelty after her dog was found in such poor physical condition that it had to be euthanised.
The woman’s crossbred poodle, Bella, was taken to RSPCA NSW Sydney Veterinary Hospital for examination where she was found to be underweight, unable to sit, with her mouth and right ear filled with maggots.
The woman was convicted and sentenced to an 18-month conditional release order in Bankstown Local Court on December 11, following a plea of guilty to the charge of aggravated animal cruelty.
During a RSPCA inspection the woman confirmed in an interview that she had not noticed that the dog was losing weight because Bella had “so much hair” and that the dog’s condition “had just developed very quickly”.
When questioned abut the maggots in Bella’s ear the woman responded that the maggot infestation was “only just a recent thing”.
Upon sentencing, the Magistrate made remarks about the woman’s “wilful blindness” to Bella’s pain and suffering, stating that any reasonably discerning pet owner would undoubtably have known that the dog required euthanasia weeks earlier.
RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers commented on the distressing nature of the case.
“There is no excuse to allow animals entrusted in your care to live in continued pain and suffering,” he said.
Mr Meyers acknowledged that there was no excuse for allowing Bella to suffer.
“She would have struggled to eat, see, hear, and move. It is your duty as a responsible pet owner to provide adequate care for your animals, including making tough decisions with their welfare front of mind”.
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