Two people in Queensland have been fined and banned from owning animals after authorities discovered they had put two puppies on a near-total vegan diet.
The RSPCA was alerted to possible animal cruelty offences happening at the property of James McKenzie and Megan Price, according to the ABC.
The animal welfare authority visited their home north of Cairns several times and eventually found their bull-arab-cross puppies were emaciated.
Instead of normal dog food, McKenzie and Price were found to be feeding Roo and Ula chickpeas, quinoa, rice and grains.
They discovered Roo was underweight and struggling to walk, which the couple said was due to an injury sustained after jumping off the couch. The couple gave the dog a homemade cast because they said they couldn't afford to go to the vet.
They were told to take the dog to a vet immediately and several days later they came to check on the dogs to see if their conditions had improved.
They told the RSPCA that the animals were 'not with us anymore' and had 'gone to God'. However, RSPCA inspectors quickly learned Roo and Ula were back at the property.
When the RSPCA executed a search warrant at the Cow Bay home, they couldn't find any animal food and instead discovered human vegan food.
The emaciated puppies were seized and McKenzie told the inspector: "You eat murdered animals, you will never be like us...we are vegans and love animals."
The animals were taken to veterinarian Dr Paul Matthews for an assessment and they were declared to be 'emaciated' and were suffering a calcium deficiency due to their vegan diet.
During McKenzie and Price's trial, the vet told the court that the diet resulted in a 'severe' nutritional imbalance in both puppies.
Devastatingly, Roo had to be euthanised on humane grounds. Ula has since recovered and has been rehomed and renamed.
The couple has been ordered to pay more than $8,600 in fines, legal costs and veterinarian bills and has been banned from owning animals for three years.
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