A 40-year-old West Australian woman has been fined $5000 after abandoning her dog for 12 days in a filthy yard with no food or water.
A local ranger attended a Narrogin property after receiving reports of an abandoned dog, RSPCA WA said.
They found Bull, a one-year-old Bull Mastiff, in the rubbish-strewn backyard with an empty, dirty bowl.
The Narrogin Magistrates Court heard RSPCA WA tracked down the home’s tenant, who said she was in Perth and wouldn’t be returning to the Wheatbelt until 2 June.
She admitted the dog, Bull, was hers and said she had owned him since he was a puppy.
She refused to surrender the dog to the RSPCA and it was too soon for the RSPCA to lawfully seize him, so local rangers visited every day to give Bull food and water.
The woman was still absent 12 days after the RSPCA’s initial call, at which point Bull was seized by the RSPCA and taken to their Animal Care Centre in Perth.
RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said it was unthinkable that people could just go away and leave their animals to fend for themselves.
“It is not ok under any circumstances to abandon your animals,” she said.
“If Bull hadn’t been reported, he would almost certainly have died from thirst and hunger.
“It’s even more baffling the offender didn’t do the right thing and surrender Bull to the RSPCA on one of the many occasions the inspector made that suggestion—she was still happy to just leave him there.”
If Bull hadn’t been reported, he would almost certainly have died from thirst and hunger
Green said the leadup to and aftermath of Christmas saw many pets and animals abandoned or left alone as families went on holiday without arranging care.
“Please, if you’re heading off over the summer and not taking your pets with you, make sure arrangements are in place for your animals to be looked after properly, preferably by a pet sitter or reputable boarding facility.”
The offender has since moved to the southwest of WA.
Bull remains in the care of the RSPCA in Perth.
Green urged anyone to contact the RSPCA immediately if they see any suspected cases of cruelty or neglect.
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