A Goulburn woman convicted of animal cruelty has been given a community corrections order.
Elaine Parsons, 68, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated animal cruelty and seven counts of being in charge of an animal and failing to provide veterinary treatment when she appeared in Goulburn Local Court on October 5.
The charges arose out of a large puppy breeding operation near Goulburn, from which 96 dogs and puppies were seized and re-homed.
The aggravated animal cruelty charge related to a severely hydrocephalic Cavalier King Charles puppy. Hydrocephalic puppies suffer from a build-up of fluid in the cavities deep within their brain, causing a large dome-shaped head, extreme pain, seizures and blindness.
The remaining charges related to failure to provide veterinary treatment to 51 dogs for severe dental disease, dogs with difficulty breathing, dogs with eye conditions, 60 dogs with intestinal parasites and 96 dogs with flea infestations, as well as 66 dogs with ear infections.
The court heard that Parsons had been breeding puppies to provide income for herself and as a hobby.
Agreed facts said RSPCA inspectors attended the premises with a veterinarian on June 7, 2017 as the result of a complaint regarding the welfare of a large number of dogs.
During the inspection, 38 pens containing assorted dogs were found. The animals were suffering from a range of medical conditions, including dental disease, ear infections, fleas and eye problems. The dogs were shivering, and some of them were hypothermic. The floors were covered in sawdust and lime, and the feed and water bowls were contaminated with urine and algae.
In sentencing Parsons, Magistrate Geraldine Beattie said: “The animals were clearly suffering because you were unable to look after them. You were using these animals for a business, breeding and selling the puppies.”
“The charges are serious and sentencing needs to reflect that, and to send the message to the community this is not appropriate behaviour.”
She gave Parsons a two-year community corrections order.
She also prohibited her from having more than five desexed adult dogs for a period of five years.