A White Gum Valley family was fined $5000 for animal cruelty Tuesday by the Fremantle Magistrates Court.
Giovanni, Maria and Julie Bassi were charged by the RSPCA for mistreating a seven-year-old Maltese Shih Tzu cross.
An inspector had found the bitch in appalling condition with badly matted fur and an open wound on its front right leg when he visited the home in May last year.
It was blind, severely emaciated and its nails so overgrown some had curled more than 360 degrees. It was infested with fleas and had odorous discharges from its ears and eyes.
A vet determined the dog had suffered a tremendous level of pain and required sedation. It was later euthanised.
The family had told the RSPCA inspector they hadn’t sought assistance for the dog because the vet was either shut or cost too much.
“This is a serious example of animal cruelty,” magistrate Robert Lawrence said.
RSPCA CEO David van Ooran was pleased with the fine.
“It sends a strong message to the community that pet ownership is a serious responsibility.”
by BRENDAN FOSTER