An Australian couple faces multiple charges and fines after several drop-ins from the RSPCA confirmed reports that both of their five-month-old Bull Arab puppies were sick and suffering.
RSPCA investigators made more than one visit and reported that Roo and Ula were underweight, unable to stand, and crying out in pain. Roo had even injured one of his back legs when jumping off a couch and had been fitted with a homemade cast. The couple explained that they used instructions they found online, as they couldn’t afford to pay for a visit to a veterinarian.
The cast rubbed against his belly, causing blisters that the couple treated with tea tree oil, oregano oil capsules, and cortisol cream. The RSPCA issued two AWDs (animal welfare directions), ordering them to have Roo examined by a veterinarian immediately.
Then, a few days later, the investigator checked back in with the couple, and they told him that the dogs had “gone to God and weren’t with them anymore.” But less than a week later, the RSPCA found out that Roo and Ula were back at their home.
From their visits, it was evident that both Roo and Ula were malnourished. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators found that there wasn’t any dog food, meat products, or bowls of water accessible for the pups. However, they did find the couple’s pantry filled with chickpeas, lentils, rice, pasta, quinoa, and other grains.
When asked what they were feeding Roo and Ula, the couple claimed they were giving them a vegan diet of rice and chickpeas because they had run out of dog food and could not buy more.
“You eat murdered animals, you will never be like us, we are vegans and love animals,” the couple told the RSPCA investigators.
Ultimately, Roo and Ula were removed from the couple’s home and received emergency medical treatment. The attending veterinarian described Roo and Ula’s condition as “emaciated” and suffering from severe nutritional imbalances and malnourishment. He estimated that the five-month-old puppies had been being fed an inappropriate diet for approximately three months.
Ula was nursed back to health and adopted by a new family who renamed him Scrappy-Doo. However, his front paws remain permanently disfigured. Sadly, Roo was put down after three independent veterinarians deemed his quality of life extremely low due to chronic pain.
In the end, the couple pleaded guilty and was charged with two counts of failing to treat an animal and one count of failing to comply with an animal welfare direction (AWD). They were also banned from owning pets for three years. Their fines and veterinary bills totalled around $9000, half of which will go to the RSPCA.
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