Woman convicted of 'shocking' animal cruelty charge
A MURGON magistrate has said a series of photographs showing malnourished dogs were shocking and unacceptable depictions of animal cruelty.
Kathy-Lee Mickelo, 32, appeared before the Murgon Magistrates Court today on a charge of breaching the duty of care to animals.
On March 5, at 9pm Murgon police officers attended Miss Mickelo's home regarding another matter.
Police prosecutor Barry Stevens said officers saw a female white bull terrier lying on the ground nursing eight pups.
"One puppy was deceased and the female bull terrier had a dirty muzzle, was flea-ridden and the skeleton of the dog was visible," he said.
"A large male Irish wolfhound was found inside that was also flea-ridden and underweight. It was in company with a red Staffordshire bull terrier.
"Its skeleton was visible to such an extent that it had trouble walking with its back legs buckling when it walked," the prosecutor said.
"The seven puppies and three adult dogs were seized and taken to a vet."
Defence lawyer Chris Campbell said Miss Mickelo's partner had been imprisoned on domestic violence offences and she was left to take care of two of his dogs, and the third was also left in her care by another person who was sent to prison.
"She was left with the dogs and having to raise five children while her partner was in jail," he said.
"I'm told one of the dogs was an older dog that had been hit by a car so it had some trouble with its gait."
Magistrate Louisa Pink said the appearance and health of the dogs was shocking.
"The photographs are shocking and it is unacceptable," she said.
"There are many options open to you if you find yourself in this kind of difficulty.
"The three adult dogs were severely underweight. One where its skeleton was so clearly visible, it was described by the vet as grossly underweight," she said.
"The puppies were all flea-ridden, and one of them had died.
"You failed to provide food, water and flea treatment
"It was callous and cruel and a significant fine is appropriate to reflect this conduct," the magistrate said.
Miss Mickelo was fined $4000 with 50 per cent of that fine directed to be paid to the RSPCA.
She was also prohibited from owning or obtaining an animal for two years.
The conviction was recorded.
The South Burnett Times has been in contact with Murgon police about obtaining the photographs of the dogs.