Couple sentenced after puppies fed ‘vegan’ diet
AN unemployed Cow Bay couple who fed their bull arab puppies a vegan diet, leading to one being humanely euthanised, have been banned from owning animals for three years and slapped with more than $5000 in fines.
The RSPCA was forced to seize the five-month-old puppies Ula and Roo from James McKenzie and Megan Price in June last year after several weeks of investigations, visits to a Quandong Rd property and an order to get the malnutritioned animals to a vet.
According to a statement of facts from the RSPCA, during a visit an inspector asked to see what dog food was available and Price showed food in a pantry which included lentils, rice, pasta, quinoa and grains.
"All food sighted was indicative of a vegan diet," the statement said.
"There was a bowl of quinoa which was the same colour as Ula's faeces.
"There were no dog food or meat products at their property.
"There were also no water bowls inside or outside of the house for the puppies."
Price also told them she made her own dog food which "met dogs' nutritional requirements" but would not say what ingredients were used.
The couple also said they were treating numerous injuries on both dogs' bodies with tea tree oil, oregano oil capsules and a cortisol cream for skin conditions.
The statement said during an earlier visit McKenzie had claimed both dogs were dead and "gone to God", although the RSPCA received information several days later that both dogs were back on the property.
The dogs were seized in May last year despite aggressive protests from the couple.
The statement said McKenzie told the RSPCA inspector he "loved animals".
"We are rehabbing them and they are starting to get on their feet," he said.
Both dogs were lame when seized and so bad was Roo's condition, including a leg injury the couple had attempted to treat using a homemade cast and information off the internet, he had to be put down by a vet.
Ula was able to be saved and despite permanent disfigurement to both front paws, he has been rehomed in Cairns and renamed Scrappy Doo.
The pair pleaded guilty in the Mossman Magistrates Court on Thursday to two counts of fail to treat and McKenzie also pleaded guilty to one count of fail to comply with Animal Welfare Direction.
Mckenzie was fined just over $3200 and Price's fine was more than $2700, with both also told to foot the $1365 vet bill.
Part of the fine will go to the RSPCA.
Originally published as Couple sentenced after puppies fed 'vegan' diet