Australian woman banned from ever owning pets again after neglecting dog that later died
A woman in Australia has been banned from ever owning a pet again after the death of her severely malnourished dog, which was seized by animal welfare officials following multiple complaints from her neighbors.
Ariel Crowther-Christine, a 25-year-old mother of three from Queensland, was fined $3,800 after she failed to appear at a hearing at Brisbane Magistrates Court last week over charges she faced in relation to one of her pets, a bulldog named Bella, 7News.com.au reports.
Ultimately, the defendant was issued a lifetime prohibition order against owning pets, which can be reviewed in five years, according to the outlet.
"The photos (of Bella) are extraordinarily distressing," Magistrate Linda Bradford-Morgan told the court during the hearing.
Inspectors with the RSPCA Queensland received multiple complaints about Bella's skeletal appearance from Crowther-Christine's concerned neighbors starting back in December 2018.
At the time, the dog owner was told to take the animal to a veterinarian for treatment, a request with which she complied. However, in March 2019, inspectors conducting a follow-up visit found Bella to be emaciated, although another animal belonging to Crowther-Christine appeared to be in good health, according to 7News.com.au.
Bella was seized by the RSPCA and brought to a facility where vets tried to save the malnourished creature. She died days later, after undergoing surgery to correct one of the many medical issues related to her prolonged mistreatment and starvation.
Prosecutor Tracey Jackson slammed Crowther-Christine after her hearing, calling it "an appalling case of neglect," but praised the overall outcome of the trial.
"This result sends a strong message to the community that people need to take their responsibilities seriously when it comes to animals in their care," Jackson said. "If they don't, then they should expect to have the privilege of pet ownership taken away from them."