Canberra Woman Jailed After Neglect of Animals

Local Holt resident, Bonnie Page, 25, has been found guilty of six offences under the Animal Welfare Act 1992 for failing to provide appropriate and adequate food, failing to seek veterinary treatment and neglecting an animal in a way that causes pain for two dogs in her care.

 

On Tuesday 30 September 2014, RSPCA ACT Inspectors attended the location in Holt after receiving three separate complaints about the condition of two dogs. Upon arrival Inspectors sighted a small white Terrier, named Tish on the front verandah. Tish was very skinny, had a coat that was extremely matted, long claws and had discharge coming out of her eyes. 

 

RSPCA ACT Inspectors went to the side of the property where a large Rottweiler cross was sighted. The dog, named Roxy was tethered with the lead wrapped multiple times around the leg of an outdoor trampoline giving her only about 20cm to move. Roxy appeared to be very thin and was unable to have access to water, food or appropriate shelter because of the tether.

 

Due to the poor condition of both dogs, a decision was made by RSPCA ACT Inspectors to seize the animals.

 

During the seizure a vehicle arrived at the residence with two females exiting the vehicle and came over to RSPCA ACT Inspectors. Bonnie Page and another female were informed by RSPCA ACT Inspectors that the dogs had been seized due to their condition. The two women became very aggressive and verbally abused the Inspectors.

“Give me my f*****g dog back you f*****g c**t, you have no f*****g right you f*****g cockhead.” Bonnie was heard saying.

 

The two women began to interfere with the seizure. Due to the volatile situation police were called to the scene. Bonnie continued her abuse of RSPCA ACT Inspectors. “Get off the f*****g property you c**t b***c, f*****g police they won’t get here for half an hour, you’re dead you c**t.”

 

Police arrived at the scene and a decision was made to continue the seizure of the two dogs due to their poor condition.

 

Tish and Roxy were brought to RSPCA ACT’s Veterinary clinic where they were examined. Tish was found to be extremely long nails and be underweight with her ribs and spine clearly visible. There was also visible ocular discharge from the eye and further discharge from the ear which was caused by a bacterial infection. Tish’s coat was examined and was found to have a flea infestation. A blood test was undertaken and resulted in Tish having chronic pancreatitis.

 

Roxy was examined by a veterinarian and was found to be very skinny. Roxy had dry discharge around her eyes, a yeasty odour from her ears which was the result of an ear infection, live fleas and flea dirt found in her coat. Roxy’s skin was thick and inflamed showing signs of a matured case of dermatitis.

 

RSPCA ACT CEO Tammy Ven Dange felt that this was a difficult situation for both the animals and inspectors, “Our inspectors are just trying to do their jobs - that is to inspect the welfare of an animal in which they received a complaint. It’s frustrating when owners that clearly did not show any regard for their pets before, suddenly become violent when confronted about the condition of their animals.  Had they cared this much earlier, they wouldn’t be in this situation and neither would their pets.”

 

Bonnie Page was found guilty and sentenced to 2 months in jail and a 5 year animal ban prohibiting her from owning, acquiring, purchasing or possessing any animal.

 

RSPCA ACT Senior Inspector Catherine Croatto was pleased with the sentenced handed down by Magistrate Campbell, “Two dogs suffered horribly due to being so neglected. As sad as it was finding them in such conditions, it was a relief that we were able to seize them and afford them the care that they needed and deserved.”

 

Ms Ven Dange was also happy with the sentence, “Our inspectors were verbally abused and threatened with assault. Nothing less than a jail term was appropriate, and we’re very pleased to see Magistrate Campbell give her that sentence.“

 

Roxy was rehomed earlier.  Unfortunately, Tish had to be euthanased because of her previously untreated, chronic pancreatitis making it impossible for her to digest food.

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Joshua Pickham, Marketing Coordinator, RSPCA ACT

Email: jpickham@rspca-act.org.au

Phone: 02 6287 8110