Prosecuted by RSPCA Victoria, the case of a severely neglected British Bulldog was heard and finalised in the Frankston Magistrates Court on Thursday 17 November 2022 resulting in the accused being charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.
Nelson the British Bulldog was suffering with multiple acute health concerns when he escaped from his home in Langwarrin on 20 September 2020, all of which were a direct result of neglect, and preventable.
After his escape Nelson was taken to The Lost Dogs Home where the veterinary team referred his case to RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate for investigation based on multiple serious health concerns.
Nelson’s acute medical conditions included damage to both his eyes, a painful skin condition, embedded toenails, multiple infections and arthritis. Nelson’s claws were so overgrown they were embedded, causing his paws to become malodorous, ulcerated and infected resulting in ongoing pain and discomfort that would have been obvious to a lay person.
RSPCA Victoria’s Senior Inspector Maree Crabtree said that while Nelson’s case was dire, unfortunately, cases of such grievous neglect are not uncommon.
“Nelson was suffering from a variety of health concerns, all as a result of neglect over an extended period of time. While he was provided with emergency treatment and medication to ease his pain, earlier veterinary intervention would have alleviated his suffering.
“No animal deserves to suffer, and it is imperative that owners and people in charge of animals are aware of their legal responsibilities to provide proper food, water, shelter, along with routine and emergency veterinary care when required.”
Further examinations revealed Nelson was suffering from other serious health concerns that would have been picked up during routine veterinary examinations. Nelson’s front paws had developed severe arthritis, he had serious hip dysplasia, and his ear canals were narrowed due to an infection. As a result of these multiple serious conditions, sadly the decision was made to humanely euthanise Nelson to end his suffering.
Despite the accused entering a guilty plea at an early stage, the court noted the seriousness of the case warranted a penalty. The accused was given an order under section 12 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, prohibiting them from being the person in charge of a dog for three years, was given a good behaviour bond for 18 months and ordered to make a $1,500 donation to the RSPCA.
The accused, as the person in charge of Nelson, was charged with one count of animal cruelty under s 9(1)(i) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (the Act).
Anyone who has concerns for the welfare of an animal, is encouraged to contact RSPCA Victoria on 9224 2222 or at rspcavic.org immediately.