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Monday, Aug 18, 2008
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Defendant/Suspect: Brett Minifie
A pit bull cross dog called Boof was starved to the point where bones were bulging from his body, the Wodonga Magistrates Court heard yesterday.
Brett Minifie, 38, of Brockley Street, Wodonga, pleaded guilty to six charges relating to animal cruelty for two dogs.
RSPCA inspector Guy Gorman told the court that Minifie had been feeding “scraps” to the animals because he couldn’t afford to buy dog food.
He also failed to worm the dogs or provide them with proper veterinary treatment.
“Boof was emaciated with individual ribs, spine and pelvic bones prominent,” Mr Gorman said.
“There was a lack of muscle mass and little or no body fat.
“The dog’s rump was hollow and the abdomen was tucked up.”
The other dog, a Staffordshire terrier named Staff, was in a similar condition.
Mr Gorman said he first inspected the dogs on August 18, when he issued Minifie with a compliance notice to seek a veterinary assessment of both of the animals and to provide sufficient food and worming treatment.
Mr Gorman returned to inspect the dogs on four occasions before issuing Minifie with a warrant to remove the dogs in November.
“The dogs’ condition had worsened and they were both in very poor condition,” Mr Gorman said.
“I had a conversation with Minifie who stated that he was in financial difficulties and hadn’t been feeding the dogs bought food because he couldn’t afford it.”
Magistrate Len Brear said there was no excuse for the “absolutely disgraceful” condition of the dogs.
“If you can’t afford to keep an animal properly, you shouldn’t keep the animal,” he said.
Mr Brear said Menifie’s “inability to empathise” with the dogs’ conditions warranted imprisonment.
Minifie received a three-month suspended sentence and was ordered to pay the RSPCA $3743.
He is also banned from owning another animal for 10 years.
One of the dogs has been given another home while the other was put down after displaying aggressive behaviour.