Woman sentenced after dogs found with rotten teeth and dreadlocks

A woman has been sentenced after the rescue of four severely neglected Cavalier King Charles Spaniels from a “squalid” property.

RSPCA South Australia seized the animals after receiving a tip-off about the dogs last year.

“All four dogs were suffering multiple health ailments including severely matted and dreadlocked coats, ear infections, mouth infections and ingrown nails,” RSPCA South Australia said in a statement.

The four Cavalier King Charles Spaniels rescued by the RSPCA. Source: RSPCA SA

“Two of the dogs required the extraction of more than 20 rotten teeth each and all four required intensive veterinary care, which is ongoing for one of the dogs.

“The nails on one dog were so overgrown they had rotated and begun to grow out laterally, while an overgrown nail on another dog had pierced the footpad, resulting in an infection.”

Last week, the dogs’ former owner pleaded guilty to 13 counts of ill treatment of an animal.

She received a three-month suspended prison sentence, a $500 good-behaviour bond for two years and is prohibited from owning animals for five years.

The RSPCA is the only South Australian charity which has the legal jurisdiction to investigate cases of animal cruelty.

Pictured is Maggie – one of the four dogs rescued by the RSPCA. Source: RSPCA SA

Fortunately after the dogs were treated, they were placed in foster care for months and were later adopted into new homes.

“We fostered Maggie (from this story) for just over 5 months,” one person commented on the RSPCA’s Facebook post.

“It was such a great feeling. I’m sure the Christmas she celebrated with us was probably her first time getting a present. Loved her bath time and walks at the lake.”

The RSPCA has used the case of animal neglect to remind dog owners of the importance of taking care of “high maintenance dog breeds” or dogs that have specific grooming requirements.

“All dogs require regular washing and grooming to keep their skin and coats healthy, but some breeds have greater grooming needs than others,” RSPCA South Australia chief veterinarian Dr Brad Ward said.

The other four dogs have since been adopted. Source: RSPCA SA

“Though they are very attractive dogs, Cavalier Spaniels definitely fall into that latter category and anyone thinking of getting a long-coated breed like that needs to seriously weigh up the time required for washing, clipping and grooming.”

In 2018 to 2019, there were more than 4200 cases of cruelty reported to RSPCA South Australia.

Of those, 32 cases were prosecuted and 977 animals were seized or surrendered into RSPCA care.

Dogs and puppies account for 56 per cent of those cases.

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