Rochester woman in court for dog cruelty

A repeat perpetrator of animal cruelty has been banned from owning any more than seven dogs or puppies.

Ann Giles, 53, was convicted in the Bendigo Magistrates Court this week of 13 charges of contravening the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The charges included failing to provide adequate veterinary care and failing to provide adequate food and water to a number of dogs.

Sebastian Reid, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the case concerned two visits to Giles’ property near Rochester, the first on May 18 where an initial inspection was conducted, then a second VISIT a week later where inspectors returned with a warrant to seize animals.

Photos taken by the RSPCA on that day were tendered to the court along with notes from the vets who attended.

RSPCA’s chief veterinarian Dr Andrew Byrne said he examined 32 dogs all of which had “obvious” flea infestations and most of which had an ear infection. 

Dr Byrne said 19 were in fair body condition but nine were in too poor a condition to remain at the property. Giles denied any deliberate mistreatment of the animals.

She said the animals – many of which were rescue dogs – were locked up in cages in a horse float while she was away from the house because otherwise they would run away.

Giles said she let the dogs out twice per day and took them for long walks allowing them to drink from the dams on her property.

She said five of the dogs seized by the RSPCA had been bought by her the night before and were already in poor condition. “I took them because I couldn’t leave them with the owner, they would have died in his care,” she said of the five young Labradors.

The court heard Giles believed she was rescuing the animals for rehoming, but Magistrate Mary Robertson said the motivation didn’t matter.

Ms Robertson placed Giles on a 12-month community corrections order with 150 hours of unpaid community work, and ordered her to pay $1000 in costs.

She also disqualified Giles from owning any dogs that were not desexed.

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