Local News

Muswellbrook woman convicted after mistreating two dogs and a flock of chickens

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A Muswellbrook woman has been convicted after mistreating two dogs and a flock of chickens. 

An RSPCA inspector attended a property in December 2017 in response to a cruelty report and seized two dogs, a Whippet crossbread and a Kelpie crossbread. 

Both were taken to the RSPCA's Hunter Veterinary Hospital and were treated for hookworm infestations, they were infested with fleas and crusted with flea dirt and weighed half the weight they should've.

The vet found the dogs had not been adequately fed for at least four weeks, and they required vet treatment at least two weeks prior to being seized by the RSPCA.

In seven weeks being cared for by RSPCA NSW, the Whippet crossbreed weighed 21.5 kilograms (48% increase) and the Kelpie crossbreed reached 19.4 kilograms (61% increase).

The inspector was back at the property in January 2018 and seized ten live chickens and two deceased chickens who all lice and worms and had not been properly fed for at least four weeks, were thin to emaciated and two had severe scale deformity from leg mites. 

One of the chickens, despite critical care sadly died. 

Within a month of care the remaining chickens had gained between 41% and 68% of their bodyweight. 

This week a 36-year-old Muswellbrook woman entered pleas of guilty, was convicted and sentenced in Muswellbrook Local Court for committing multiple acts of cruelty towards her two pet dogs and flock of chickens.

The RSPCA said that the woman was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order for the charges of failing to provide vet treatment for emaciation, fleas and intestinal worms to the dogs, and for committing an act of aggravated cruelty towards the three chickens that died. For failing to provide vet treatment to the emaciated chickens she was fined $2000, and for failing to provide them vet treatment for lice and mites she was fined $1,000.

She was banned from purchasing, acquiring, or taking possession or custody of any animal for five years and ordered to pay vet costs of $2913.71 with moiety to RSPCA NSW. She was also ordered to report to police for the purposes of fingerprinting, and to supply the RSPCA with a full list of any other animals in her care.

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“These two dogs were seized on a 40°C day. As we move into a very dry, hot summer, RSPCA NSW reminds animal owners of their obligations to provide proper and sufficient food and water to their animals,” RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers said.

“Where we receive complaints, we will investigate and seize animals to provide them with veterinary treatment and to protect them from further acts of cruelty. We take that job very seriously.”

“We thank members of the community for proactively reporting cases of cruelty to us. It is through your support that we are able to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty offenders.”

Both the dogs and all nine chickens have since been adopted into loving forever homes.

Image credit: RSCPA