Justice for Evie!

Pet Care RSPCA Inspectors Posted May 19, 2021
Evie, the Staffy pup who touched everyone’s heart has finally received justice.

Evie, the Staffy pup who touched everyone’s heart when she came into RSPCA care after being brutally beaten in Morayfield last year, has finally received justice. Read the original story about Evie here.

Rhys Eden Cleland and his partner Hope Shannon Peele appeared in Gympie Magistrates court where Cleland pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said the case was so extreme that he had concerns for the safety of the couple’s newborn child.

“History tells us that people who do bad things to animals may do bad things to people," he said.

Cleland and Peele both pleaded guilty to breaching their duty of care by failing to provide medical treatment for injuries to Evie that included two broken femurs, broken teeth, a broken hip, broken jaw, multiple broken ribs  and broken toes on her feet, as well as other injuries.

The Magistrate sentenced Cleland, identified as the major offender because of the injuries he caused, to three years’ probation and recommended anger management counselling. He said that if it were not for Cleland’s young age, lack of criminal history, and the fact that he and Peele had a newborn baby, imprisonment would have been considered. However Mr Sinclair said that the number, nature, types and timings of the injuries told him that this was not a one off incident, and he dealt with Cleland on that basis.

He ordered one year's probation for Peele. Each was also ordered to pay $96.15 summons fees and $550 legal costs.

Mr Sinclair also ordered the couple to pay $12,000 to the RSPCA for its care for Evie.

When Evie first came into RSPCA care her injuries were so severe that she was initially thought to be too “broken” to recover and the vets were seriously considering the kindest thing was to let her pass “onto the rainbow bridge” and a pain free future.

However, due to the fact that vets were able to manage her pain and she was able to eat, the decision was made to get further advice and everyone was delighted when Dr Wendy Archipow and the team at Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre, Albany Creek said they were confident that they could fix her breaks. With surgery, physio and lots of love from the team at RSPCA QLD, she could hopefully have a chance at a new start in life. 

The RSPCA would like to thank the donors who pulled together over $27,000 for Evie’s urgent treatment and care. While no jail time was handed down, the Magistrate did take the matter seriously.

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