The Mercury, Tasmania, ZARA DAWTREY; June 23 2012,
HELP TOO LATE: Kelpie cross Socks in the hands of an RSPCA inspector.
A FORCETT woman has been banned from owning any further pets or animals for five years and urged to find new homes for those she already has.
Magistrate Chris Webster told Christine Maree Long, 51, right, a government could not force her to get rid of her horses, dog and cats after she admitted to leaving her kelpie cross in agony for days after it was kicked by a horse.
“If you can’t afford to keep animals properly, you shouldn’t keep animals,” Mr Webster told her.
“Sell your horses, give them to someone else.”
RSPCA prosecutions officer Glen Carey is urging cash-strapped Tasmanians to get their injured animals to a vet and if they cannot afford it to contact the RSPCA.
Tough economic times have led to an increase in the number of animal cruelty cases but no money is no excuse, the RSPCA is warning.
Long, a Department of Human Services employee, had been on sick leave for years, the Magistrates Court in Hobart heard yesterday.
The court was told she was waiting until she got paid before she took the dog, Socks, to a vet.
Mr Webster heard RSPCA inspectors went to her Arthur Highway property and seized the animal, which a vet determined was in too much pain to be spared.
The animal was put down.
Mr Webster asked Long, who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty but said she was unhappy at the idea of a ban on further animal ownership, how she intended to look after her remaining horses, dog and cat if she had been too financially strapped to take Socks to the vet.
Christine Maree Long has been banned from owning any more animals for five years.
He fined her $300 on top of the five-year ban after taking into account her financial circumstances.
He ordered she also reimburse the RSPCA $364.
Outside the court, RSPCA prosecutions officer Glen Carey said financial problems were no excuse for leaving animals in pain.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of cases of people failing to vet and some of it has to be put down to poor economic conditions in Tasmania,” he said.
“Most of the excuses we get from people and I stress they are excuses, they’re not a defence are from people who say due to the economic climate they’re in they just can’t afford it.”
Mr Carey said anyone in that position could report the matter to the RSPCA, they could surrender animals to the RSPCA, including sick animals, and the RSPCA would look after them.
“If you can’t afford to pay, ring your vet, ask if they’re prepared to see the animal because in many cases I’m sure they would be or work out some sort of payment plan.
“If you can’t, contact the RSPCA.”