AUSTRALIA -- A man who neglected his pet dog causing it to lose more than half of its body weight has been convicted and banned from owning an animal for several years.
Father of three Sam Kasmeridis, 45, “naively” left his pet rottweiler, Gypsy, in his backyard for an acquaintance to collect after he was evicted from his northern-suburbs home in April 2015.
But the unidentified man — a customer of his western suburbs fast food store — failed to honor an agreement to look after the animal, which meant it was left abandoned for up to a month.
The Adelaide Magistrates Court was last week told the “emaciated” animal weighed just 20kg (about 44 pounds) when discovered by an RSPCA inspector before it was nursed back to health.
SHE HAS ALMOST DOUBLED IN WEIGHT SINCE RESCUED
The animal, which now weighs a healthy 32.8kg (about 72 pounds), has since been successfully adapted to a “loving family”.
Despite the animal welfare watchdog seeking to have him banned from owning an animal, Kasmeridis obtained a kitten a month ago — provoking incredulity from the sentencing magistrate.
He faced a maximum two years in jail or a fine of up to $20,000 after he admitted one ill-treat an animal charge over a four week period from April 16, 2015 at Beverley.
Kasmeridis, unemployed for the past 18 months who faced a period of homelessness while suffering anxiety and depression, admitted not providing the dog with “appropriate or adequate” food and water.
His guilty plea to animal cruelty charges meant the RSPCA dropped charges against his partner of eight years, Eleni Margaratis, 30, who was criticised for failing to take the case “seriously”, obtaining legal advice and attending court.
Prosecutor Ronan O’Brien, for the RSPCA, told the court that Kasmeridis had been warned by inspectors about his conduct with the dog in December 2011 and how to adequately treat it.
He urged a conviction and asked for costs including $2750 in vet and boarding house fees as well as $300 court charges.
Kasmeridis, now of Prospect, was left shocked and fought tears after being shown photographs of the skinny animal.
The couple, he said, had been operating a Sempahore Park fast food shop but had become too busy to walk or give the animal adequate attention.
Representing himself, he said he loved the dog but had been struggling to pat it for more than 10 minutes at night while operating his business.
Magistrate Bob Harrap convicted him but said jail was not appropriate, ordering him serve a $200, 18-month good-behavior bond, as well as a four-year animal ban, for his “totally irresponsible” actions.
Criticizing him for obtaining a cat despite the charges, he ordered it be forfeited — but allowed him to keep a bearded dragon lizard — that he pay $800 compensation as well $1050 in costs.
Outside court, Mr O’Brien said the “thankfully, Gypsy made a full recovery from her ordeal” and was successfully adopted to a new family.
He said the RSPCA was especially pleased that the kitten was to be surrendered as it will ensure it “will not be neglected in the way that Gypsy was”.
Kasmeridis declined comment.
(The Advertiser - February 5, 2017)