A woman who failed to provide proper care for a German Shepherd dog has been heavily fined.
Alice Barrett, 45, of Goulburn, did not appear in Goulburn Local Court on May 9, but she was convicted in her absence on charges of committing an aggravated act of cruelty on an animal, failing to provide proper and sufficient food and drink to an animal and failing to provide veterinary treatment to an animal in her charge.
RSPCA facts tendered in court said on May 18 one of their inspectors got a call from a veterinary surgery relating to a German Shepherd dog that had been brought to the clinic by council rangers.
The RSPCA officer attended the clinic and was shown the dog, who was in an emaciated condition.
It could only stand with assistance, fleas were crawling over its body, and it smelled of faeces.
An intravenous drip was attached to the dog in an effort to hydrate it.
It weighed 20kg less than the normal body weight for such a dog.
After leaving messages at her house, Barrett called RSPCA officers and admitted ownership of the dog.
The dog died on May 23, with a postmortem revealing chronic starvation as the cause of death.
In court, Magistrate Geraldine Beattie dealt with the matter in Barrett’s absence.
She convicted Barrett and fined her $8000.
She also ordered Barrett pay veterinary costs to the RSPCA of $634.
“There are not many cases that leave you speechless, but this is one of them,” RSPCA NSW Acting Chief Inspector Andrew Clachers said.
“To see a dog so weak he’s unable to stand, and learn the owner knew about it but chose to do nothing, it’s nothing short of heartbreaking and distressing. And despite all veterinary efforts, to have a dog starve to death because it was too late. There are no words for that.”
All charges were brought under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (NSW) 1979.