ONE dog’s ears were rotting from insect bites, while two other dogs were in such chronic pain they had to be put down.
This was the condition in which Banksia Grove residents Amanda and Charles Boudville, who claimed to “love animals”, left their pets for months between 2016 and 2017.
The couple faced Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday, pleading guilty to three counts of animal cruelty.
They were each fined $6000 and banned from owning a dog for two years.
This meant they had to surrender a fourth dog, which was not part of the investigation, for rehoming.
The RSPCA prosecutor told the court that inspectors visited an abandoned house in Koondoola in December, 2016.
They found two dogs in squalid conditions in the backyard – a Staffordshire terrier named Chloe and a Siberian husky named Milo.
Milo’s ears had been eaten away by infection and bug bites, while Chloe was unable to walk properly because she was trapped in mesh.
The inspectors seized the animals, but Chloe was found to be suffering from severe ailments and had to be put down.
Investigations revealed the Boudvilles had formerly lived at the property but moved to another home in Banksia Grove and left the animals behind.
They were able to keep the dogs at the abandoned home because it was being held under the name of Mr Boudville’s parents.
Mr Boudville told Magistrate Deen Potter they had intended to care for the two dogs.
“We love animals,” he said.
But their visits to check on them had lapsed during school holidays because they were looking after their four children.
RSPCA inspectors visited the couple’s Banksia Grove home in April, 2017, when they found a third dog, Hikari, unable to straighten her legs.
Mrs Boudville admitted she had opted for remedial massage as the dog’s only treatment, despite a vet telling her the animal needed medical care.
The RSPCA prosecutor told the court Hikari would likely have been in pain for months and had to be put down.
Mrs Boudville admitted they were “in the wrong”, but pleaded with Mr Potter not to prohibit them from owning a dog because it would mean they would have to give up a fourth pet.
“That would absolutely kill our children to not be able to have their loving pet with them,” she said.
But Mr Potter would not be swayed, saying their other three dogs had “suffered significant harm”.
He said they should have surrendered them when they realised they couldn’t care for them.
“You move them on, you don’t allow them to reside in squalor,” he said.
RSPCA WA chief inspector Amanda Swift said it was a bittersweet result for the animals.
“While justice has been served, it has come too late for Chloe and Hikari,” she said.
“They suffered needlessly due to the reckless disregard for their welfare shown by their owners.
“The level of neglect these dogs have been through is unthinkable.”