RSPCA ACT inspectors are appealing to the community for any information relating to a serious case of animal cruelty. Yesterday morning, a man found nine five-week-old puppies in a box near Kingsford Smith Drive in Higgins.
The abandoned and underweight animals were handed in to the RSPCA shelter in Weston where they were examined by staff. One of the puppies was seriously injured and had to be euthanised immediately.
RSPCA ACT CEO Tammy Ven Dange told RiotACT that the puppy suffered a blunt force trauma to its skull, indicating it had been struck with a solid blunt object.
The community’s intolerance to the mutilation of these defenceless and innocent animals was palpable. Within hours of the RSPCA posting a picture of the puppies and an explanation of what had happened on Facebook, the post had been shared over 500 times and attracted hundreds of comments by outraged Canberrans.
Facebook commenter Katrina Wilcock wrote: “I hope the RSPCA and cops find them before I do!!! Makes me so freaking angry.”
Also on Facebook, Pattie Davis wrote: “What a scumbag. People like this shouldn’t be allowed to breathe the same air as these gorgeous little creatures.”
RSPCA’s Ven Dange says she is confident the organisation has the resources to conduct an investigation to find the culprit (or culprits).
“Our inspectors are highly qualified to conduct complex investigations. The public is needed to help us find a culprit and on this occasion we don’t need to work with police as we are licensed under the Animal Welfare Act for this very reason.”
The Animal Welfare Act 1992 states that the maximum penalty for serious acts of animal cruelty occurring in the the ACT is 2 years imprisonment and/or a $22,000 fine. People are rarely given jail sentences in the ACT for acts of serious animal cruelty – if ever. It is clear that legislation regarding acts of animal cruelty has not kept up with community expectations.
When asked how often the RSPCA is confronted with these types of horrific cases, Ven Dange answered, “too frequently.”
At present, RSPCA ACT has approximately 20 cruelty cases before the ACT Magistrates Court.
Let’s hope that the culprit is caught and punished under the appropriate legislation.
If you have any information in relation to this incident, please contact RSPCA ACT senior inspector Catherine Croatto on 0408 421 255. Hopefully, we can find the person, or persons, responsible for this act of inhumanity.