Australian woman prohibited from keeping an animal after dog found dead in laundry

The dog was found by RSPCA inspectors.
The dog was found by RSPCA inspectors. Photo credit: RSPCA

A 27-year-old Australian woman has been convicted and sentenced on Wednesday for cruelty to her pet dog.

The woman, from a town near Albany in Western Australia, was sentenced in the Albany Magistrates Court for cruelty to her now-deceased dog Dharma, an eight-year-old male brindle bull mastiff cross. 

The charges relate to the condition of Dharma, which was reported by a community member in January. 

After obtaining a warrant, RSPCA inspectors entered the woman's property after finding contradicting evidence to her initial claims of not owning a dog. 

Dharma was found partially concealed under a pile of laundry, already deceased.

An autopsy revealed he suffered from severe emaciation, serous atrophy of the bone marrow, pancreatic atrophy, suspected pneumonia likely caused by starvation and infected genitals.

The autopsy concluded Dharma died from life-threatening emaciation and pneumonia, the RSPCA said on Thursday.

"The poor dog's last days would have been torturous," said RSPCA Western Australia chief inspector, Amanda Swift.

"It is inexcusable to let your family pet suffer so badly like poor Dharma, and to not seek medical help for obvious suffering.

"This is a timely reminder to people to always ask for assistance. Nobody should ever let their pets down in this way - they rely on you for their every need."

The 27-year-old woman has been fined AU$3500 (NZ$3722), ordered to pay AU$941.49 (NZ$1000) in legal costs and has been given a 10-year prohibition from keeping an animal.