A mother and father have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after their dog died after leaving her tied up for the weekend in sweltering summer heat and without access to water.
Jessica Boggs, 25, and Peter Ball, 29, broke down in tears after a court heard the details of the death of their mastiff cross named Bitchy, or Bee for short.
The pair had left their Rockhampton home for the weekend in February, tying up Bitchy and their other dog, a male mastiff named Tank, in the backyard, despite temperatures peaking in the high 30s.
Neighbours contacted the RSPCA after seeing the dogs struggling in the extreme heat, but Bee had died by the time they arrived at the home.
Jessica Boggs and Peter Hall left their Rockhampton home for the weekend in February, tying up Bitchy and their other dog, a male mastiff named Tank (pictured), in the backyard, despite temperatures peaking in the high 30s
Ms Boggs and Mr Ball both pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching their duty of care for an animal on Tuesday at Rockhampton Magistrates Court for leaving Bitchy and Tank in the dangerous north Queensland heat.
Bee, who the Gracemere family rescued 10 years ago, and Tank had been tied up so they couldn’t roam their yard but fatally both dogs could not reach the bowl.
‘(She) was tied up in a way which the dog could only access the kennel but not access the water,’ RSPCA lawyer Grant Cagney said.
Tank had also suffered injuries after being found mangled in his chain. His medical bills cost $10,000 as a result but he has recovered.
Tank (pictured) had also suffered injuries after being found mangled in his chain. His medical bills cost $10,000 as a result but he has recovered
The court heard Ms Boggs and Mr Ball had shown deep remorse for their actions, had complied with inspections with the RSPCA and had arranged for Bee to be cremated.
The Magistrate handed the couple a $500 fine each, with 50 per cent to be donated to the RSPCA. They were not given any convictions because neither Ms Boggs nor Mr Ball had criminal records.
‘I appreciate you did not intend to cause any harm to your animals,’ Magistrate Jeff Clark said.
‘Your case is an unusual one. Ordinarily the fine would be significantly higher than that,’ he noted.