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Animal cruelty: Willagee woman, 23, sentenced after leaving her puppy to suffer broken leg

Lauren PriceThe West Australian
A 23-year-old woman who left her puppy to suffer through a broken leg has been banned from owning an animal for two years and fined.
Camera IconA 23-year-old woman who left her puppy to suffer through a broken leg has been banned from owning an animal for two years and fined. Credit: RSPCA WA

A 23-year-old woman who left her puppy to suffer through a broken leg has been banned from owning an animal for two years and fined.

The German Shepherd-cross — named Will — was found at the woman’s property in Willagee by an animal cruelty inspector in September 2022 after the RSPCA was alerted about the distressing injury.

The inspector arrived at the home to find Will — who was around six months old at the time — “clearly in pain” and avoiding bearing any weight on the broken limb.

RSPCA WA understood the injury had been present for around a week, so made the decision to seize Will.

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He was taken to a nearby vet for urgent treatment, before coming to RSPCA WA’s Animal Care Centre in Malaga, where X-rays revealed a broken elbow.

Willagee woman who was found to have been cruel to an animal was ordered to pay a fine of $2,200 and more than $7,000 in court and vet costs and prohibited from being in charge of an animal for two years.
Camera IconWill is now recovering well and adapting to life on three paws in foster care. Credit: Supplied/RSPCA

Given the severity of the fracture and the delay in treatment, the decision was made to amputate the puppy’s leg to avoid ongoing pain, and he is now recovering well and adapting to life on three paws in foster care.

The 23-year-old faced the animal cruelty charge in the Fremantle Magistrates Court on Friday.

She was fined $2200, and more than $7000 in court and vet costs. The woman was also banned from being in charge of an animal for two years.

In sentencing, Magistrate Adam Hills-Wright said the woman had an obligation to Will and she did not “do what (she) ought to have done”.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said it was alarming that any pet owner could ignore such blatant injury.

“Will was visibly struggling to walk. His owner could clearly see he was in daily pain and still she did nothing — it’s just not OK,” she said.

“Owners failing to seek vet care for their animals is among the top concerns reported to RSPCA WA.

“While we are sympathetic to the fact owners may fall on hard financial times and struggle to afford vet care, doing nothing is not a solution.

“If you can’t meet your pet’s needs, you must reach out for help sooner rather than later. It is an offence to allow your animal to suffer without vet care when they need it.”

The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect.

Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or at rspcawa.org.au.

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