A 22-year-old Adelaide woman has been given a suspended jail sentence over the ill-treatment of a Staffordshire terrier that was found near death and gasping for breath.
Casey Goldner pleaded guilty in Adelaide Magistrates Court to failing to take reasonable steps to mitigate harm to an animal.
Butch was found lying inside a child's playhouse at a Seacombe Gardens House in July last year.
He was in such an emaciated state he had a body score of zero out of nine, the RSPCA said on Thursday.
A healthy dog has a score of five out of nine.
"His heart rate was barely audible, he was gasping for breath and was suffering chronic diarrhoea," the RSPCA said.
"The attending vet, who quickly made the decision that humane euthanasia was the only option, testified that the dog would have been suffering greatly for at least a week, but possibly longer."
On Thursday, Chief Magistrate Mary-Louise Hribal imposed a near three-month jail sentence on Goldner but suspended the term, placing her on a two-year good-behaviour bond.
She also banned the woman from owning an animal until further notice and ordered her to pay vet fees of $1630.
After the sentencing, RSPCA South Australia chief inspector Andrea Lewis described the level of neglect as "beyond any reasonable person's comprehension".
"To live in a house knowing that just outside the back door is an animal suffering horrifically, and then choose to do absolutely nothing about it, puts this case at the highest end of animal neglect," Ms Lewis said.
"Anyone could see this young dog was in a shocking way and in urgent need of veterinary attention."
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