A woman from Western Australia has been charged with animal cruelty, after her pet dog was found to have thousands of ticks all over her body.
In December last year, the RSPCA received a report regarding Bobbi, a Mastiff cross-breed, who had a "large amount" of ticks on her and was underweight.
Bobbi's owner was issued a directive to take her to the vet and supply a health report to the RSPCA.
In a statement issued on Monday, the RSPCA said the court was told Bobbi's owner failed to comply with the directions and became difficult to communicate with.
At the request of the RSPCA, a ranger from the Shire of Broome went to the woman's property, however she refused to open the door.
She was told Bobbi needed to be taken to the vet that day, or she could face criminal charges.
Once again, the woman failed to comply and Bobbie was seized by the RSPCA, with the assistance of WA Police.
Bobbi was taken to Broome Veterinary Clinic, where it was determined she was suffering from a "severe" tick infestation — having thousands of ticks on both ears at "different stages of life".
She also had hundreds of ticks all over the rest of her body and was suffering from Ehrlichiosis, a disease caused by ticks.
Bobbi was lethargic and in a poor body condition with fever and anaemia.
The RSPCA said it would have taken weeks, if not months, for Bobbi to get into that condition.
“Her ears almost defied belief there were so many ticks in them,” Executive Manager Animal and Enforcement Operations, Hannah Dreaver, said in a statement.
“It must have been so painful for Bobbi and the itching would have driven her mad, not to mention the fever and anaemia making her feel so unwell."
Ms Dreaver said there was never an excuse for an animal to suffer like Bobbi, as pet rely on their owners to care for their needs.
"Bobbi has recovered now and remains in the care of RSPCA WA in Perth where she is healthy, happy and one of the biggest snugglers we’ve come across,” he added.
Bobbi's owner was found guilty of animal cruelty, failing to comply with a written direction and for not following a direction from the RSPCA to have the dog seen by a vet.
The 33-year-old woman has been banned from owning or being in contact with a dog for 10 years, on top of a $3,750 fine and being ordered to pay costs of $2,068.38.
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