THE details of a dog cruelty case were so distressing a Joondalup magistrate refused to look at the photos the prosecution made available to him in court today.
Girrawheen pet owner Nadezdha Yakovlevna Williams (54) allowed her 15-year-old kelpie cross Rex to suffer in an emaciated condition with festering sores over his body and maggots around his rear and genitals.
The animal was left lying in his faeces.
RSPCA officers who were called to the dog’s aid on November 20 last year considered it one of the worst cases they had seen.
Vets shared that view when they eventually put the dog down.
A pathology report revealed Rex had a kidney infection, various muscular ailments that prevented him from moving and more maggots in his stomach and mouth.
The RSPCA would not release photos of the animal to media because they were too graphic.
Too graphic even for Magistrate Gregory Benn, who told the prosecutor, when offered the images, that the details of the case gave him enough of an idea of the animal’s suffering without having to look at them.
Mr Benn fined Williams $8000 and banned her from owning an animal for 10 years.
He ordered she pay more than $1200 in costs for the pathology reports.
He accepted Williams was remorseful but said she had shown “reckless disregard for the animal’s condition”.
Williams’ lawyer submitted her client was unaware of the dog’s suffering, but Mr Benn refused to take that claim.
“This is a condition that would take some time to develop,” he said.
“The level of this dog’s suffering can only be imagined when I consider the litany of problems the dog was dealing with.
“The only conclusion I can possibly reach… is that, regardless of what you think, you are someone who is not capable of taking the care, control and charge of an animal.”
The RSPCA prosecutor submitted that Williams had told them she did not want to take the animal to the vet because she did not want to see Rex put down.
Williams’ lawyer said the offender had owned the dog since 2009.
She had taken him in because he was abused by his previous owner.
The solicitor pushed for a spent conviction because Williams was concerned a criminal record would prevent her from travelling to Russia to see her dying mother.
Mr Benn denied the application because he had been given no documents that proved a criminal record would be a hindrance to her travelling.
RSPCA WA chief inspector Amanda Swift said it was a “truly heartbreaking case”.
“The pain and suffering this dog endured was totally unnecessary, and could have been avoided had the owner sought treatment sooner,” she said.
“This poor dog essentially wasted away in front of the owner’s eyes.”