Delilah the Staffordshire bull terrier was discovered malnourished and anxious. Picture: Supplied
Delilah the Staffordshire bull terrier was discovered malnourished and anxious. Picture: Supplied

Starved dog was half its body weight

A WOMAN who starved her Staffordshire bull terrier, until the dog had visible hip and rib bones, has been fined and banned from keeping pets for three years.

Shaye Wallace O'Neill, 26, pleaded guilty to failing to feed her dog and failing to provide adequate living conditions, in Holland Park Magistrates Court on Friday.

Barrister, Chris Minnery, for the RSPCA, told the court on May 15, last year, RSPCA inspectors went to O'Neill's Moorooka home and seized her dog Delilah.

 

Staffordshire bull terrier Delilah was about half her recommended body weight. Picture: Supplied
Staffordshire bull terrier Delilah was about half her recommended body weight. Picture: Supplied

 

They had received a complaint that Delilah had lost so much weight that her rib and hip bones were showing. The witness said the dog had lived with O'Neill for about a year.

Inspectors found the dog in an emaciated state, in an overgrown yard, littered with rubbish, the court heard.

A veterinarian said the dog was emancipated, malnourished, very hungry and timid and weighed only 11.25 kilos - about half the ideal body weight.

O'Neill told RSPCA inspectors she had taken in the dog, after finding it straying a couple of weeks earlier, and denied she had had the dog for longer.

 

Delilah’s rib and hip bones were clearly visible. Picture: Supplied
Delilah’s rib and hip bones were clearly visible. Picture: Supplied

 

She claimed she had asked a friend to keep an eye on the dog while she was away for work.

But a neighbour told the RSPCA that the dog had been seen at O'Neill's property for more than three months.

Another witness said she first saw Delilah, as a puppy, roaming the streets in February, 2018.

The witness said the puppy was hungry and overheated and O'Neill said she was the owner and the dog had a thyroid problem.

The witness saw the dog regularly from March, last year.

The court heard when Delilah was first seized, she would often snatch food and eat excessively and the dog appeared anxious. Picture: Supplied

 

Delilah now has a new owner and is at a healthy weight. Picture: Supplied
Delilah now has a new owner and is at a healthy weight. Picture: Supplied

 

After being in the care of the RSPCA for a week, Delilah gained four kilos.

RSPCA staff worked with Delilah to address her behaviours, which they said were more likely to be associated with long term starvation and lack of socialisation.

By June 28, last year, Delilah weighed 19.6 kilos and had ideal body condition.

Delilah was adopted by a new owner in September last year.

O'Neill, now of Morningside, was fined $2000, including $1000 to be paid to the RSPCA, and ordered to pay more $411 in costs. No conviction was recorded.

She cannot own an animal for three years, unless it is approved by the RSPCA.

Originally published as Starved dog was half its body weight



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