A Queensland mother of three has been banned from owning a pet after neglecting a two-year-old American bulldog named Bella, who later died at the RSPCA.
Ariel Crowther-Christine, 25, did not appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court for sentencing on Aug. 27. She was fined $3800 (US$2,600) and had a conviction recorded.
The court was told Bella had looked like a “skeleton”, as the charges of failing to feed and three counts of failing to provide treatment for injury were dealt with in Crowther-Christine’s absence.
From December 2018 the RSPCA received complaints of the dog’s poor health which included Bella being so underweight she had protruding bones.
The informant said Bella was also lethargic and had a lump on the back of her leg, which appeared to be slightly lame.
RSPCA inspectors visited the house multiple times and directed Crowther-Christine to take the animal to the vet, which she did.
But on a follow-up visit by inspectors in March 2018, Bella was found to be emaciated.
This was despite another animal in the yard being in good condition.
Crowther-Christine said Bella was fed daily and away from the other animal because she was “now too weak to push him away when they are eating.”
Days later Bella was seized and taken to the RSPCA where veterinarians marked her as a “two” on a scale of emaciation where a “nine” was considered obese.
The following day Bella underwent surgery to treat her medical issues but later died.
Prosecutor Tracey Jackson said the dog would have survived if she had proper treatment.
Magistrate Linda Bradford-Morgan said the dog was evidently starving in the backyard.
A prohibition order from owning pets was made for life. The order can be reviewed after five years.