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Zeus the dog left emaciated by owners

SAD END: Great Dane Zeus weighed 14.5kg and was severely malnourished when RSPCA found it in 2014. Zeus was euthanased soon after.
SAD END: Great Dane Zeus weighed 14.5kg and was severely malnourished when RSPCA found it in 2014. Zeus was euthanased soon after. Contributed

EMACIATED, severely malnourished and weighing only 14.5kg, Zeus deserved a better life than the one he received.

But even until his short life ended, the great Dane-cross maintained a warm, friendly demeanour.

A mother and son sat side-by-side at Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Thursday as their pet's conditions were laid bare.

Kylie Leanne Porter, 41, and Dylan Michael Batten, 21, both pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching duty of care to the animal.

Porter and Batten were fined $1000 each and banned from owning an animal for three years.

Representing the RSPCA, solicitor Nicole McEldowney told the court that on September 1, 2014, an RSPCA inspector visited the family's Moore Park Beach property, finding Zeus lying down.

Zeus would not come when called and appeared unable to walk, hunched over and seemed lethargic.

The inspector noted two other dogs on the property - a six-month-old border collie and a black male juvenile staffordshire bull terrier-cross dog, both healthy.

Ms McEldowney said Batten agreed to surrender ownership of Zeus who was taken to Sugarland Veterinary Clinic.

"He was emaciated and weighed only 14.5kg," Ms McEldowney told the court.

"It was very painful for him to walk and he would cry out when he did walk."

"Despite this he was still a very friendly dog for the full examination."

Ms McEldowney said Mike Woodham suggested a weight-gain diet but the deformity in Zeus's legs would not improve and any rehabilitation would be painful.

"He determined that the kindest action would be humane euthanasia and Zeus was euthanased," she said.

Solicitor Matt Messenger said his clients pleaded guilty on the basis they did not act sufficiently for Zeus.

"But it's a large breed dog and very different to the other two dogs they've got," he said. "There was no problem with those dogs whatsoever."

Magistrate Aaron Simpson said the pair should have given Zeus to someone who could take care of him if finances were part of the problem.

"The photographs indicate and show an animal that was unwell, very unwell," he said.

Mr Simpson allowed Porter to keep Narla because of her autistic son's relationship with the pet, as long as it was de-sexed within 28 days.

Topics:  animal neglect, rspca



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