News

Three-year ban for Tongala dog owner

By Ivy Jensen

A TONGALA man convicted of animal cruelty has been fined a total of $4000 and banned from owning any animal for the next three years.

The matter of Adam Frank Reece was heard ex parte in Echuca Magistrates’ Court..

RSPCA Victoria prosecutions co-ordinator Daniel Bode said that society inspectors had gone to Reece’s Tongala property in Mangan St on July 19 last year where they found three dogs — two heeler crossbreeds and a Rottweiler cross — in an emaciated condition.

‘‘Our inspectors noted that there was no provision of food for these three dogs and that they were sharing a single steel drum as shelter,’’ he said.

‘‘Due to immediate welfare concerns, the RSPCA Victoria inspector seized the dogs and transported them to a veterinary clinic.’’

On a scale from zero (emaciated) to five (obese), one dog was rated as zero while the other two scored one.

The dogs were then admitted into RSPCA Victoria’s care, where they were fed with a balanced nutritional diet to gain weight and improve body condition.

‘‘The three dogs had no underlying medical conditions and inadequate nutrition was the sole reason for their condition,’’ Mr Bode said.

Reece was interviewed on September 20, 2017, where he admitted that he owned one of the dogs and was responsible for the care of the others.

‘‘He stated he had been feeding them dog food biscuits and rice,’’ Mr Bode said.

Looking at photographs of the dogs, magistrate Michael King said they were in a ‘‘shocking state’’.

‘‘They were significantly emaciated and the photographs are quite graphic,’’ he said.

‘‘Pet owners have a duty of care to ensure animals are properly cared for, protected, fed and have access to adequate water and proper shelter.’’

Dr King said Reece deserved a significant penalty because of his negligence.