A 33-year-old Emerton man pleaded guilty to one offence of committing an act of cruelty and one offence of failing to provide veterinary treatment to his pet Staffordshire Terrier in Mt Druitt Local Court on 16 October 2019.
The man was convicted and placed on an aggregate four-month intensive corrections order in relation to charges that he committed an act of cruelty on his Staffordshire Terrier, named Dwayne, by beating him with a hammer, and then failed to provide veterinary treatment for blunt force trauma injuries the dog received as a result of the beating.
The order is subject to conditions that he complete 50 hours community service work, be of good behaviour, and appear if called upon to do so. A breach of this order could result in the Parole Board revoking the order and he would be required to serve the remainder of the term in custody.
He received a five year prohibition order preventing him from purchasing, acquiring, taking possession or custody of any animal with the exception of one Jack Russell terrier that was in his care, and uninjured at the time.
In an agreed fact document tendered on sentence, the Court heard that on Monday 12 November 2018, witnesses discovered two dogs cowering in a corner and a man with a large wooden object covered in blood. The witnesses observed the dark coloured Staffordshire Terrier to have blood dripping from its mouth and confronted the defendant. The defendant yelled that the dogs had destroyed his synthetic grass and took the dogs inside his home.
A cruelty complaint was made to RSPCA NSW, as a result RSPCA NSW Inspectors and NSW Police attended the property the same day.
RSPCA NSW Inspectors unsuccessfully attempted to contact the occupants of the home but entered the yard to check the dog. Upon discovering blood stains on the backyard deck and on a wooden block, they found two dogs locked in the laundry. Inspectors had serious concerns for the wellbeing of the Staffordshire Terrier, and so called a locksmith to gain access to the animals.
Witnesses on the scene provided videos of the incident RSPCA Inspectors. In the footage a hammer can be seen in the man’s right hand as he chases the Staffordshire Terrier around the backyard. The man swings the hammer and hits the back legs of the dog. Once cornered, the dog is then hit twice with the hammer and the dog can be heard squealing.
The dog appears to be held and hit with the hammer a further 10 times as the man is bent over the animal and the yelps continue. The next time the man is seen in the vision he holds up a piece of wood and strikes it down as the dog squeals.
Dwayne the Staffordshire Terrier was seized and immediately transported to RSPCA NSW Sydney Shelter for veterinary treatment.
RSPCA Inspectors returned to the property on 15 November 2018 and cautioned the defendant as he Initially denied any wrongdoing. After being told about the video footage, he admitted that he had hit Dwayne with the hammer. The man ultimately surrendered the dog.
A vet determined that Dwayne had injuries consistent with recent blunt force trauma. The veterinary report lists full thickness laceration to the tongue made by the upper and lower teeth forcefully penetrating the tongue, bruising around the face, fractured canine tooth, fresh blood in mouth, hypervigilant and displacement behaviours consistent with an animal following a major traumatic event.
Further Laboratory diagnostics showed marked elevation of creatinine kinase (CK) and Hematuria (blood in urine) consistent with blunt force trauma to the urinary tract, such as bladder or kidneys.
“You left that dog in continuing pain as a result of not minor injuries, requiring medical treatment,” said Magistrate Corry upon sentencing. “Put yourself in the dog’s position if you were the subject of an assault. They feel pain. You should reflect on that”.
RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers commented on the disturbing nature of this case, saying, “There is nothing your pet can do which justifies treating them in this manner. Pets look to their owners for the basics, food; water; shelter, but also love and affection. This is a very serious example of offending and is further compounded by allowing this dog to continue to suffer as a result of his own actions. I’m sure most of our supporters would consider this appalling conduct”.
Dwayne was made available for adoption and has since found his new forever home.