Imagine a community where animals don’t have to suffer from cruelty or neglect. Your generous gift today could make the difference for animals in need in the ACT.
In May 2016, our RSPCA ACT Inspectors visited the residence after receiving complaints regarding the condition of the animals living there. What they found upon their arrival was confronting.
The yard was strewn with various materials including car and bike parts, and over the fence, they could see six dogs wandering around the yard. They looked incredibly malnourished with both new and old wounds covering their skeletal bodies.
The worst off was a tall Irish Wolfhound that we eventually named Xander. His ribs protruded disturbingly, and he had puncture wounds covering his ears and muzzle. His dry and course hair was covered in fleas, and the bones on his hips were inflamed and scabbed with old and new scarring. This poor boy with the big brown eyes and chipped teeth could make any person’s heart ache. It was clear that these animals needed our immediate intervention.
They were removed from the property and taken straight to the Shelter to be examined by our vets. We knew that it would be a long road to recovery for these poor dogs. They were so used to being hungry and cold, scrambling for any scraps thrown their way, and fighting each other for the meagre amounts of food they received. In a faecal sample from one of the dogs there was some sort of cloth – evidence that they were eating anything to ease their hunger.
Xander weighed 24.45kg. This may seem like a lot, but the average weight of a healthy Irish Wolfhound is between 52 – 80kgs. The scales revealed what we already knew - Xander was severely underweight with a body score of just 1/9, the skinniest possible body weight before death by starvation. Bloods showed that Xander was suffering from chronic starvation.
It was vital to ensure that the person responsible for their conditions faced justice before our legal system. We needed to send a clear message that people who neglect and mistreat animals will be held accountable before both the courts and their peers.
It took us over a year to see this happen, but the man responsible for the poor condition of the dogs finally pled guilty to failing to provide appropriate and adequate food and water for the six dogs in his care. He was sentenced to two, 12-month good behaviour orders including nine months of supervision, ordered to pay $100 in court costs and was disqualified from keeping any animal for two years.
RSPCA ACT’s work begins with a simple complaint but doesn’t end until the animals are rehomed and when warranted, the owners are taken through the court system – sometimes taking years. Will you help us with this vital work?
We are happy to report that eventually all six dogs found their forever homes. Xander was in our care for over 200 days before he finally found his forever home. Giving animals like Xander a second chance at a good life is not cheap.
Together we can continue to make a difference in even the smallest of lives. Your donation today can continue to make this possible. Please help us!