Man fined, banned from dog ownership after RSPCA takes action

The dogs were seized by the RSPCA.
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A 40-year-old man has pleaded guilty to failing to provide veterinary treatment to his four Staffordshire Terrier dogs, after they were found to be in extremely poor body condition and suffering from internal parasites.

RSPCA NSW Inspectors attended the defendant’s property in August 2023, after receiving a cruelty complaint relating to four underweight dogs and their living conditions.

Inspectors examined the dogs in the presence of the defendant’s partner and found all to be in very poor body condition. One dog was so weak and emaciated that he was not able to stand without difficulty.

The dogs were seized by the RSPCA.

All four dogs were seized and transported to an RSPCA NSW Veterinary Hospital for urgent treatment. On admission, the veterinarian determined one of the dogs was in such a poor state of health that he required 24-hour care. He was transferred to Animal Referral Hospital Homebush for further treatment, however, was sadly later euthanised due to the extent of his health issues.

A necropsy was performed that showed the dog was emaciated, with a body condition score of 5/5, where five is emaciated and one is ideal, based on the TACC Animal Care and Condition scales. The dog was suffering from severe and chronic pneumonia as well as a hookworm infestation, roundworm infestation and coccidia burden.

An examination of the other three dogs showed each to be severely underweight with a body score of 4/5. All three dogs were found to also be suffering from hookworm, with two found to be suffering from coccidia burden as well.

Hookworm, coccidia and roundworm are all intestinal worms which can cause severe symptoms such as anaemia, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weakness and weight loss.

The dogs were seized by the RSPCA.

The defendant admitted that he was aware the dogs were underweight, however he asserted that he did not provide veterinary treatment, as he could not afford it. The man claimed that he always had food for the dogs and had last wormed them in approximately June 2023.

In RSPCA NSW custody the three surviving dogs were examined by a registered veterinarian, vaccinated, wormed, and treated for fleas.

Intake screening returned positive results for intestinal parasites, which resolved after treatment with commercially available worming treatments. All three dogs demonstrated considerable weight gain and a significant improvement in body condition whilst in the care of RSPCA NSW, after being fed a proper and sufficient diet.

During sentencing at Penrith Local Court, the magistrate said the offending was serious.

The defendant was convicted in his absence and fined $2000. One dog, which had not been surrendered, was forfeited to the RSPCA and a two-year disqualification order was made. Veterinary care and shelter costs in the sum of $10,148.98 were awarded to RSPCA NSW.

“This case reinforces the crucial role that preventative health care plays when it comes to keeping our pets healthy and safe,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector, Scott Meyers.

“Providing routine worming treatment can help protect animals from a range of life-threatening parasites and infections. If your pet is presenting any unusual symptoms such as weight loss, please contact your local vet immediately, before it is too late.”

RSPCA NSW said two of the dogs, Pina and Colada, were adopted by the same family and are now enjoying their forever home, together.

The third dog remains in RSPCA care.

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