A Victorian woman has been banned from owning dogs for 10 years after being charged with animal cruelty offences.
RSPCA Victoria took the Bendigo woman to court when her dog was found to have been starved over a prolonged period of time.
In 2022, a report came into the animal welfare organisation when a severely emaciated greyhound went to a local veterinary clinic.
The dog was in an extremely poor condition, with significant muscle wastage, an inability to stand, dehydration, and hypothermia.
Due to the extent of the dog’s condition and poor prognosis, the decision was made to humanely euthanise him.
The local vet report says the dog was suffering for an extended period, with a post-mortem examination confirming severe emaciation and malnutrition.
“The most significant gross finding was severe emaciation, lack of subcutaneous fat stores and the presence foreign material in the stomach,” Dr Gregory from the University of Melbourne Veterinary clinic who conducted the post-mortem said.
“Other changes including atrophy of bone marrow is mostly consistent with reduced protein and calorie intake over prolonged period.
“(this is) consistent with the changes in the body arising from starvation.”
RSPCA Victoria charged the dog’s owner with failure to provide the animal with proper and sufficient food, drink or shelter.
Further charges include unreasonably failing to provide veterinary or other appropriate attention or treatment for the animal, along with acts of cruelty on an animal, which result in the death or serious disablement of the animal.
RSPCA Victoria Chief Inspector Michael Stagg says this case is a heartbreaking example of neglect and cruelty across the state.
“No animal deserves to suffer like this dog did,” Chief Inspector Stagg said.
“And unfortunately, cases of this degree of neglect are not uncommon.
“Pet owners and people in charge of animals need to ensure they are aware of their legal responsibilities.
“To provide proper food, water, shelter, along with routine and emergency veterinary care when required.
“and prevent this type of harm coming to animals.”
During her court case, the woman cited financial constraints as the reason for her dog’s inadequate care.
She is now on a 12-month good behaviour bond without conviction.
The woman also now has a ban on owning a dog for 10 years.
The prohibition order is excluding another dog currently in her care; however, the RSPCA was successful in securing a 10-year monitoring order.
Reporting animal cruelty in Australia
Head to the RSPCA Australia website to see how to report animal mistreatment in your area.
If you witness an act of cruelty against an animal or you see an animal in immediate danger, contact your local police immediately.