Woman banned from owning pets after dog's body found in pile of laundry


A woman has been banned from owning a pet for 10 years after a severely starved dog was found dead under a pile of laundry in her Albany home.

The Western Australian woman was sentenced yesterday after WA RSPCA inspectors obtained a warrant to search the McKail home in north-west Albany. RSPCA officers were responding to reports from a concerned community member when they found the animal’s body.

The woman initially denied owning a dog but Dharma the 8-year-old mastiff cross was emaciated and deceased when investigators removed the body.

“It is inexcusable to let your family pet suffer so badly like poor Dharma,” RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said in a statement.

dead mastiff cross that was found by WA RSPCA in an Albany home.
Dharma the 8-year-old mastiff cross was emaciated and deceased when RSPCA investigators removed the body. Source: RSPCA

An autopsy revealed that Dharma had suffered from serous atrophy of the bone marrow and pancreatic atrophy.

The dog also suffered from suspected from pneumonia, which was very likely caused by starvation, and infected genitals.

“This poor dog’s last days would have been torturous,” Ms Swift said.

The autopsy report concluded that Dharma’s cause of death was related to the pneumonia and life-threatening emaciation.

Dharma, an eight-year old mastiff cross was found deceased under a pile of laundry and the owner has been charged with animal cruelty.
The dog's body was found hidden under a pile of laundry in WA. Source: RSPCA

The 27-year-old owner faced Albany Magistrates Court on Wednesday where she was sentenced with a fine of $3,500, a 10-year prohibition from owning an animal, and to pay legal costs of $941.49.

Ms Swift reminded pet owners there is no excuse to deny pets of medical treatment and they should reach out for help.

“Always ask for assistance, nobody should ever let their pets down in this way – they rely on you for their every need,” she said.

The RSPCA urges members of the public to report suspected animal cruelty.

“You are our eyes and ears on the ground,” Ms Swift said.

Animal cruelty reports can be made to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 CRUELTY (278 358).

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