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When you think of owning a pet, you imagine looking after and caring for that animal for a solid few years. Depending on the pet, they can be with you for more than a decade and go through the ups and downs of life with you.
But clearly one Adelaide woman didn't see owning a pet in the same light as that.
When the RSPCA descended on the Seacobe Gardens House last year they found a four-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross named Butch that scored a zero out of nine on the health and welfare scale.
The poor thing was extremely emaciated and workers realised he'd been suffering from severe neglect.
The animal welfare organisation said: "His heart rate was barely audible, he was gasping for breath and was suffering chronic diarrhoea.
"The attending vet, who quickly made the decision that humane euthanasia was the only option, testified that the dog would have been suffering greatly for at least a week, but possibly longer."
The dog's owner, Casey Goldner, was hauled before a court yesterday and pleaded guilty to chronic neglect.
Chief Magistrate Mary-Louise Hribal gave the 22-year-old a three-month jail sentence but suspended the term and instead chucked her on a two year good behaviour bond, banned her from owning an animal until further notice and ordered her to pay a $1,630 vet bill.
RSPCA SA chief inspector Andrea Lewis said outside the court: "To live in a house knowing that just outside the back door is an animal suffering horrifically, and then choose to do absolutely nothing about it, puts this case at the highest end of animal neglect.
Efforts are being made around Australia to prevent this type of thing from happening again.
Efforts are being made around Australia to prevent this type
of thing from happening again.
One Melbourne council is debating whether to introduce a pet owner's test to see if a person will be responsible for the animal. The types of questions haven't been specified, according to the Herald Sun, but it would seek to weed out the people who aren't the right fit to look after a cat, dog, bird etc.
Councillor Kris Bolam told the newspaper: "As a society, we should be expecting the same level of personal investment and responsibility by budding pet owners towards their pets."
But the proposal has been knocked back by some industry groups, saying that it will potentially discredit people who are right to have an animal.
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