IN THE NEWS: On DEC 11, 2017
A court has banned two dog breeders from owning animals for the maximum penalty of 10 years, after more than 60 dogs were seized from their property in February last year.
Fiona McCoy and Daniel Murphy, of Wendouree, near Ballarat, Victoria, were sentenced in the Ballarat Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to dozens of animal cruelty charges in September.
The court heard the dogs were living in appalling conditions on faeces-covered floors, with many suffering from parasites and bacterial infections.
Seven puppies were found in a one metre by one metre cage and no dogs on the site had access to food or water.
"The dogs endured significant cruelty living in crammed conditions, none of them had appropriately sized pens," Prosecutor Sebastian Reid said.
"Dogs were packed in crates designed to carry one dog — they had seven dogs."
The couple were fined $10,000 each and handed a community corrections order.
McCoy was ordered to undertake 300 hours of community service, while Murphy will undertake 150 hours, because of his mental health.
Seized dogs given second chance
Speaking outside court today, the RSPCA said the animal welfare organisation was happy with the outcome.
"Today's sentence not only reflects the courts thoughts on animal welfare but also the community's expectations of animal welfare," RSPCA Prosecutions Coordinator Daniel Bode said.
"What this case shows us is a complete disregard for the animal's welfare purely to make money."
"Animals are living creatures, they feel and they suffer and the RSPCA has been able to end the suffering of these animals."
Mr Bode said 60 of the 66 seized dogs had already been re-homed.
"We've ended their suffering and we've found them a second chance."
Maximum penalty sends a strong message
Animal Welfare Group Oscar's Law Founder Debra Tranter said she hoped the sentence would make others think twice.
"We're really pleased with the outcome of today a 10-year banning outcome is a good result," said Ms Tranter.
"These dogs were treated very cruelly but not only were they treated cruel, the owners showed very deceptive behaviour.
"The owners admitted to hiding the dogs, they knew there was a council inspection planned that day.
"These dogs were hidden across paddocks, hidden in the scrub, chained up in dog trailers with no water. It was disgusting what they did to these dogs."
The court heard the couple advertised their dogs for sale online, under the breeders' name.