Neglected dog starved to death, while another is saved for a second chance

Published on 8 June 2022

RSPCA successfully prosecutes abject neglect

RSPCA Victoria successfully prosecuted another case of severe animal neglect in Geelong Magistrates’ Court last week resulting in a conviction, fines and a disqualification order.

RSPCA Victoria continues to hold animal welfare offenders to account in the courts, as seen in the case of Janelle Blackley who plead guilty to all charges, was convicted, penalised more than $1300 in fines and costs and also given a disqualification order which prohibits her from owning any dog for a period of ten years.

The case, heard before Magistrate Bentley, involved two Jack Russell Terrier mixed breed dogs named Precious and Kimba. Upon attendance at the property, RSPCA Victoria Senior Inspector Duncan observed both dogs together in the backyard, one dog curled up and deceased, with a second by its side, alive but in poor body condition.

“It’s always distressing to see that an animal has suffered, and, in this instance, the suffering of both dogs was preventable,” said Senior Inspector Duncan.

The accused was charged with two counts of failing to provide both animals with sufficient food and water and failing to provide veterinary treatment. In addition, there was a further charge of aggravated cruelty in relation to the death of Precious.

After examining Kimba, RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate Veterinarian Dr Rebecca Belousoff found that Kimba was suffering from a heavy flea burden and severe emaciation. While receiving proper nutrition in the care of an RSPCA foster carer, Kimba increased her body weight by 25% in just over two months. Dr Belousoff was of the view that the dog’s emaciation was due to malnutrition.

A necropsy performed by a University of Melbourne pathologist found that Precious was emaciated, with a diffuse lack of fat and poor muscle coverage. Grass found in her stomach indicated that Precious was hungry and willing to eat, therefore the emaciation was due to starvation, which was the cause of the death.

Despite the facts from Kimba’s examination and the necropsy performed on Precious, the accused told inspectors that she had provided food and water for the dogs.
Senior Inspector Duncan said that owning animals comes with legal obligations.

People who own animals are legally obliged to provide food, water, shelter and veterinary care, all of which give animals the best chance to live healthy, happy lives. There is never any excuse to allow an animal to suffer.

“If you can’t provide proper care for your animal don’t neglect them – there is no shame in reaching out for help.”

Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTAA), any person in charge of an animal must provide food, water and shelter, as well as appropriate husbandry and veterinary attention as needed.

Magistrate Bentley found all charges brought by RSPCA Victoria were proven and convicted Janelle Blackley on all charges. Ms Blackley was fined $800 and also ordered to pay $511 to RSPCA Victoria for veterinary fees.

Anyone with concerns for the welfare of animals is encouraged to contact RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate via www.rspcavic.org/report or by calling 9224 2222.

Kimba and Precious at home

Kimba upon arrival at RSPCA

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