Shocking case of animal cruelty by repeat offender
A GRACEMERE man has been banned from owning any pets for the next five years after RSPCA found three emaciated, flea, tick and hookworm riddled dogs locked inside a house.
Nathan Douglas Houlison, 43, pleaded guilty to six breaching duty of care towards animal charges in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
RSPCA's lawyer Jordan Ahlstrand said the RSPCA had received 14 complaints against Houlison between October 2012 and August 2015.
He said for this period of offending - between July 1, 2016 and July 13, 2016 - the RSPCA attended the Gracemere house three times before seizing the Doberman dogs.
"He admitted not attending to the dogs everyday, stated he was too scared to attend the property as people were 'after' him," Mr Ahlstrand said.
"He admitted the inside of the house was disgusting as evident by the photos ... but he felt he had no other choice. He left the dogs at the property to protect them and he knew the dogs were in poor condition and he did admit to not feeding them."
On July 7, Rockhampton RSPCA Inspector Claire Gordon visited the property and no one was home so she left a calling card.
The inspector made further attempts to contact the owner of the property on July 8, July 11 and July 12.
The inspector, on the July 8 visit, located two dogs in a contained area in the backyard with dirty green water, no food and they were so emaciated their hips and ribs were visible.
Mr Ahlstrand said a third dog was located in a confined spot in the home by looking through the window and was also emaciated.
"(It) was surrounded by rubbish and faeces and was contained within the subject property," he said.
The RSPCA inspector returned on July 13 with a warrant to seize the dogs.
The dogs - a female adult Doberman named Taylor, a male adult Doberman named Tyler and an immature male Doberman - were all taken to the Alma Street Veterinary Clinic.
Taylor was emaciated and had a mild eye infection, along with being riddled with fleas, ticks and hookworm. The ticks were engorged.
Tyler was emaciated and had a flea, tick and hookworm infestation.
The third emaciated dog, now known as Coco, had moderate muscle wastage, was riddled with fleas and ticks, and his toenails were so long he could not walk properly (see photo).
Ms Gordon continued to try and contact the owner after the dogs were seized and she finally reached him by phone on May 8 - 11 months after the seizure .
The court heard Coco has been rehomed.
"One dog (of the outside adult dogs) was able to be rehomed but unfortunately due to behaviour issues the other dog wasn't able to be," Ms Gordon told the court.
Houlison was ordered to pay a $5000 fine with half going to the RSPCA, along with paying the vet bill of $3167.96, $92.90 summons cost and $1200 of professional costs.
He was also ordered not to own any animals for the next five years.