Woman who starved dog to death allowed to own animals again

EMACIATED: Bronson, Trip and Mindi (pictured) were confined in a cage without access to water
EMACIATED: Bronson, Trip and Mindi (pictured) were confined in a cage without access to water

A WOMAN who starved one of her pet dogs to death will be allowed to have animals again, a magistrate has decided.

A teary Prue Renee Donald, 31, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday to three counts each of failure to provide appropriate food for dogs and failure to provide appropriate treatment for dogs.

Barrister Jordan Ahlstrand, appearing on behalf of the RSPCA, told the court details of Donald's offending which led to the death of one of her three dogs.

The victim animals were Bronson, Trip and Mindi - all Kelpie type dogs.

The RSPCA first attended Donald's home on April 26, 2016 after receiving information the animals were being kept tethered in a cage without access to the water and were so thin their bones were visible.

It was noted by the inspector the dogs appeared thin, but were otherwise "bright and alert".

The inspector checked on the dogs again on June 20, 2016 where they noted the dogs were still thin.

Two attempts were made to contact Donald over the next five days, but these were unsuccessful.

On June 29, 2016, the inspector went to Donald's house again and found the male dog, Bronson, dead and the other two "emaciated" - all three dogs were flea ridden.

Donald's response when the inspector told her Bronson had died was, "Well, I don't know what else I can do".

In a recorded interview Donald also said in relation to the condition of dogs, "they weren't that good, but they're not the worst I've seen".

While Donald claimed through the entire criminal process she had been feeding the dogs and treating them for worms and fleas, the vet who inspected all three animals said they were emaciated, had severe flea burdens and were in poor physical condition.

Donald's solicitor Stephanie Nicholas told the court her client was "extremely remorseful" and "loves animals", but her "considerable debt" made it difficult to care for the animals after she was left with them by an ex-boyfriend.

Magistrate Mark Morrow fined Donald $800, ordered she pay $1533 in vet bills and prohibited her from owning dogs for three years, with no conviction recorded.

Topics:  animal cruelty crime dogs editors picks rockhampton court rockhampton magistrates court