A South Australia woman has avoided jail after starving her dog to the point where it was literally skin and bones.
Nancy Thompson, 57, has even been allowed to keep her other dogs after what’s been described as the most serious case of animal cruelty.
Charlie, an 18-year-old Staffy, was so malnourished his hips, ribs and spine were visible and his overgrown nails were imbedded in his pads.
“The dog was in a horrendous condition, it was the skinniest dog i’ve ever seen, I’m surprised it was still alive, it was just like a walking skeleton,” RSPCA’s Cheryl Doudle said.
When RSPCA inspectors first went to Thomson’s home she presented two other dogs, instead of Charlie.
However, after a second complaint inspectors pounced.
“When I seized him I wasn’t even sure of what breed he was because he was so thin,” Ms Doudle said.
Thomson blamed the neglect on her mother-in-law who’s since died but the magistrate wasn’t buying it.
“It defies reason to conclude you weren’t aware of the condition the dog was in,” Magistrate Paul Foley said.
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“It’s the most serious example of neglect I’ve seen, it was literally skin and bone, there was no flesh to be seen on the dog whatsoever.”
A three-month jail term was suspended in favour of a good behaviour bond. Thomson is also allowed to keep her other pets.
After being placed with a loving foster family, Charlie’s made a full recovery.
“He’s such a good boy and just deserves nothing but happiness in life,” his foster mother said.