Saturday, December 31, 2016

Australia: Vicki Brown, 59, starved her Chihuahua named Kenny to death and then threw his tiny body into the trash can. For that she will spend just six weeks in the local jail

AUSTRALIA -- A woman who starved her pet dog to death before throwing it in a bin has been sentenced to six months jail.

However, Vicki Brown, 59, was required to serve only six weeks with the remainder of the sentence suspended because of her poor health.

Magistrate Elizabeth Sheppard backdated the prison term to October 17 when Brown was incarcerated for repeated attempts to avoid responsibility.

This means Brown, of Hackham West, will be released from jail after seven weeks.

Lawyers for Brown were appealing her convictions.

Brown was also indefinitely banned from owning any other animals.

RSPCA lawyer Ronan O’Brien said the case showed “there is simply no excuse for not caring for your pet’’.

“People neglecting their animals is far to common unfortunately in the community and it’s great to see courts taking that more seriously,’’ he said.

“The dog deserved to be loved and cared for, not thrown away like a piece of garbage in a trash can,” he added.

Brown, of Hackham West, was previously found guilty of one count of ill-treating an animal to cause death and one count of ill-treating an animal after failing to attend an earlier hearing at the Christies Beach Magistrates Court.

The charges related to a two-month period from March 17 to May 17 last year, during which her young pet chihuahua, Kenny, was starved to death in squalid conditions before being thrown away.

The RSPCA, which prosecuted the case, has previously described the death of the dog — who weighed just 1.89kg (4.1 pounds) — as “worse than a shooting”.

At a hearing last week the court was told the RSPCA attended her home and removed several cats after she was taken into custody in October, when a magistrate became frustrated at her repeated attempts to avoid responsibility.

RSPCA inspectors had found “a number of cats” at Brown’s housing trust home which were removed after she failed to find someone else to care for them.

Those cats have no been adopted by new owners.

The court has also heard from Brown’s lawyer that she suffers from anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, asleep apnoea, asthma, hypertension and high cholesterol.

(The Advertiser - December 5, 2016)

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