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The RSPCA Animal Emergency Hotline received several complaints in relation to a breeder who was unable to care for her dogs. The complaints advised the breeder was keeping dogs and puppies in cages, living in their own faeces; the dogs were in poor condition, with pus in their eyes, and generally unhealthy.
Did you know we receive hundreds of animal emergency calls each day? Your support today will fund our 24-hour animal emergency services to rescue neglected and abused animals. Please give generously to our Animal Rescue Appeal today to help animals in need.
Georgia Sakrzewski, Senior Inspector and several RSPCA Inspectors responded to the tip-offs and attended the property.
The owner, a 78-year-old woman, and a known local dog breeder, refused the Inspectors permission into the house to inspect the dogs. Our Inspectors provided advice to the owner about seeking veterinary treatment and improving the living conditions for all of the dogs.
A few days later Georgia and fellow RSPCA Inspectors returned to the property, hoping the owner might cooperate. The owner refused the Inspectors entry onto the property again. But at Georgia’s request, she presented 5 dogs for inspection. Georgia said:
“Based on what little we had seen, and from tip-offs, we suspected there were a few dogs in serious conditions. While we didn’t get to view all of the dogs – I am pleased we were able to see five of what we believed were going to be the worst affected dogs.”
RSPCA Inspectors issued an Animal Welfare Direction to the owner requiring her to seek veterinary treatment for four of the five dogs presented for inspection. The Inspectors advised they would return shortly to ensure these dogs had been to see a vet and were on a treatment plan.
A few days later RSPCA Inspectors attended the property to confirm compliance with the Animal Welfare Direction.
The Inspectors noted that there had been no change in the living conditions for the dogs.
The owner surrendered Glen, Danny and Devon to the Inspectors. Two of those dogs had cataracts and one had a severe ear infection oozing discharge and strong odour. These dogs were in very poor health and urgently needed to see our vets.
The Inspectors sighted the same dogs still in unchanged living conditions in the garage area and again the Inspectors were not permitted entry to the property to further inspect all of the dogs.
As Senior Inspector Georgia said: “We had tried our best to work with the owner. We had gone to lengths to help her situation, including offering to rehome some of her dogs for her. But we couldn’t continue our investigation with the owner refusing to allow us to see the dogs on the property. We weren’t going to leave this case without checking all of the dogs on the property.”
Given the lack of cooperation from the owner, Georgia had to seek a warrant to gain access to view the animals. Our Inspectors executed a warrant at the property days later. Expecting many animals in poor conditions, a team of Inspectors were assisted by a crew of RSPCA Veterinary staff and Local Council officers to help triage and process all the dogs.
Following a search of the property and examination of all dogs, the defendant surrendered another 20 dogs and a further 5 dogs were seized. All dogs located on the property were suffering various degrees of health issues and all were living in inappropriate living conditions.
Inspectors sighted dogs in caged areas inside the garage with a strong smell of faeces and urine in the poorly ventilated area; two old male dogs were in caged areas outside; other dogs were in a confined area with inadequate shelter, and there was a strong smell of infection.
This brought the number of dogs from the property in our care to 28 dogs – all with various health issues. It was going to take our whole team to care for and protect these sick dogs.
Significant health issues requiring veterinary treatment were required for 21 of the dogs, and charges were laid in relation to 15 of those dogs.
Head Vet, Anne Chester explained: “The sheer number of dogs needing a vet examination all at once was overwhelming. It took a team of vets and vet nurses from our Animal Emergency Hospital to just process these poor animals. As we began checking their health it became apparent many of these dogs were suffering greatly and would require surgery to save them or ease their pain. Some of the dental issues these dogs had were the worst some of our vets had ever seen. Some of the dogs were at ‘Grade 3’ dental disease, which means they were losing or had fractured teeth, had pus coming from teeth and gums, with a strong odour and severe gingivitis. Shockingly, many of the dogs had a ‘Grade 4’ dental disease, made worse with a putrid mouth, severe odour, and acute gingivitis.”
Veterinary examinations of the dogs provided enough evidence to raise charges against the owner for neglect. Our vets noted the following untreated diseases or injuries in the dogs: extreme dental disease; multiple dental extractions required; severe ear infections; ear infections requiring surgical treatment; blindness with bilateral cataracts; generalised skin disease; depression and anxiety; eyes infected and eyes closed due to lids stuck together with pus; arthritis; tumors; bacterial infections of ears; hookworm infection; profound flea burden; eye cataracts; matted hair; skin damage likely due to fly bite; and they were underweight.
Your gift today will help fund life-saving vet care and treatment. You can ensure neglected animals like these 15 dogs will have access to vets, veterinary treatment, and around-the-clock care.
Due to the neglect and condition the dogs were found in, we prosecuted the owner under the Animal Care & Protection Act 2001 with 15 charges of failure to treat an animal requiring care.
In sentencing, Magistrate Sturgess took the owners health circumstances and her guilty plea into account, and sentenced her to imprisonment for two months for each offence, wholly suspended for two years. The owner was also prohibited from acquiring another dog, other than the three show dogs remaining in her care, for the rest of her life, and to pay the RSPCA's legal costs.
With thanks to generous support from people like you, 28 dogs were rescued and provided the care they needed. Sadly five of the dogs medical conditions were so severe and the pain they were suffering was so immense our expert vets determined the most humane decision was to end their suffering. The remaining 23 dogs have since been rehomed to families who love them very much.
Please help us rescue animals before they suffer. Today alone we will receive hundreds of Animal Emergency calls for help. Your gift will ensure we can be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to rescue defenceless animals.
Without your gift we cannot rescue innocent animals. Your gift means, no matter the time of day or night, we can be rescuing desperate animals when they need us.
Please help us rescue animals before they suffer.