Last week RSPCA ACT Inspectors obtained their 30th successful Animal Ownership Ban and the second prison term for animal cruelty charges in three years.
RSPCA ACT is welcoming the sentence handed down by Magistrate Boss last week regarding a Staffordshire Terrier named ‘Cooper.’ Cooper was hit by a car and his owner, Ms Charie O’Reilly, neglected to seek medical treatment for his injuries.
A friend of Ms O’Reilly’s took it upon themselves to bring Cooper to a vet in the Woden area. The vet then got in contact with Ms O’Reilly regarding the dog’s injuries. On examination, the dog had a fractured right leg, grazes on his face, increased respiratory issues, shock and severe pain.
The veterinarian explained that there was a possibility Cooper could die overnight due to unknown internal injuries and therefore he needed close monitoring and ongoing pain management. Ms O’Reilly refused to pay for any treatment, demanded to take Cooper home immediately and became aggressive to staff until police were called to the scene.
Both the vet clinic and the police informed Ms O’Reilly that Cooper needed radiographs to investigate internal injuries and fractures, pain management and potentially surgery. Therefore, he needed to be taken to the RSPCA vet clinic first thing the following morning.
Two days after the original consultation, police became aware that Ms O’Reilly had not been in contact with RSPCA ACT and a subsequent complaint was made to RSPCA Inspectors. The dog was eventually seized after an altercation with an RSPCA Inspector.
Cooper was examined by RSPCA ACT veterinarians and blood samples and x-rays revealed evidence that was consistent with a recent episode of trauma and significant muscular damage. He underwent orthopaedic surgery at the Weston Shelter and the break was repaired with orthopaedic pins and wires.
Magistrate Boss publicly denounced Ms O’Reilly’s conduct and held her firmly responsible for her actions, “The animals that we take as pets are completely and utterly reliant upon us, and they then form part of our community. To treat them in this way diminishes everybody in the community. To cause pain and suffering to an animal to this extent is truly sickening and is really a matter that can do nothing but bring distress to anybody being aware of it.”
For failing to provide vet care and assaulting a Territory Official she received four months imprisonment and a five year Animal Ownership Ban.
Four months after his seizure Cooper was adopted to a new family.
RSPCA ACT CEO Tammy Ven Dange said this about the sentence, “We can only imagine the pain that this poor dog suffered after being hit by the car. We are thankful that the seriousness of the animal cruelty charges and the assault of our Inspector were recognised in court, and that the owner received a prison sentence and an animal ban as a result.”