Cooloola man broke every bone in this puppy's body
THE plucky Staffordshire terrier pup's only offence was to be a puppy, but that was enough for a cruel owner to break "virtually every bone in its body," an appalled RSPCA prosecuter said in Gympie yesterday.
RSPCA prosecuting officer Tracey Jackson spoke after a Rainbow Beach couple walked from Gympie Magistrates Court.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Probation in Gympie animal cruelty case
The case was so extreme, it prompted magistrate Andrew Sinclair to express concern about the safety of the couple's newborn child.
"I am very concerned for your child, because history tells us that people who do bad things to animals may do bad things to people," Mr Sinclair said.
Rhys Eden Cleland, 22, pleaded guilty to the cruel mistreatment of a "six to eight-month old staffordshire bull terrier," found to have suffered extreme injuries at his hands over an extended period at Morayfield last year.
The case had been transferred from Caboolture Magistrates Court to Gympie, the court was told.
Cleland and his partner, Hope Shannon Peele, 18, each also pleaded guilty to breaching their duty of care by failing to provide medical treatment for injuries that included two broken femurs, broken teeth, a broken hip, broken jaw, multiple broken ribs and injuries to its feet among other series injuries.
The court was told Cleland's father, with whom the couple now live, had taken Ivy to his local vet for treatment on September 19 last year.
"He was upset and advised that he had taken the dog from his son's premises," prosecuting barrister Adrian Braithwaite told the court.
"I'm disgusted," Mr Sinclair told the couple.
Identifying Cleland's father as the hero of the piece, he commended him for saving the dog and helping maintain the safety of his grand child.
"Ivy and your child are very lucky there is a grandparent wanting to assist," the magistrate told the couple, who appeared without legal representation.
He said he was concerned at "the different types of injuries and the fact they happened over a period.
"You are fortunate today that Mr Braithwaite has done the right thing and raised all the issues in your favour, though there aren't terribly many," he said.
The court was told Cleland threw the animal down onto concrete because it was defecating in the house.
RSPCA prosecuting officer Tracey Jackson said the victim was "a young defenceless puppy that didn't do anything wrong - just being a puppy.
"It's not right to punish a dog for being a dog," she said.
Speaking outside the court, she said Ivy had still not fully recovered and was still undergoing physiotherapy.
The dog had arrived with such extensive injuries, RSPCA officers thought euthenasia would be the kindest thing.
"But she was such a plucky little dog and so compliant and friendly. She was eating and drinking, despite her injuries, so we thought she deserved a chance.
Mr Sinclair sentenced Cleland, identified as the major offender because of the injuries he caused, to three years probation and recommended anger management counselling.
He ordered one year's probation for Peele.
Each was also ordered to pay $96.15 summons fees and $550 legal costs.
Mr Sinclair also ordered the couple to pay $12,000 to the RSPCA for its care for Ivy.
The couple agreed with the magistrate when he ordered that cost to be split with Cleland to pay $10,000, because of his significant role and Peele $2000.