Flashback . . . our front page story on December 8, 2005.
Flashback . . . our front page story on December 8, 2005.

Sandy Beach dog owner fined $7000

IT was an irresponsible act which has now cost Robert James Whiley more than $7000.

The Sandy Beach 27-year-old pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday to committing an act of aggravated cruelty on his pet.

Back on December 6, concerned neighbours contacted Woolgoolga police when they saw a distressed dog tied up in a Blackbutt Avenue backyard in blazing mid-morning heat.

Police arrived moments later, but the female bull terrier cross was already dead.

The RSPCA says Whiley claimed he had tied the dog to a chain before leaving for work that day, but hadn't checked her water bowl.

Another dog in the yard, a female Staffordshire cross, managed to get off its chain.

In Coffs Harbour Local Court on Wednesday, magistrate James Garbett ordered Whiley to pay a $2000 fine under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, $67 in court costs, $273.50 in veterinary costs and $5000 in professional costs.

RSPCA Mid North Coast inspector Andrew Kelly said people needed to ensure their pets had shelter and adequate and secure water at all times.

"This case highlights the extra vigilance required when people have animals in their care, and the need to monitor water and shelter, particularly in the heat," Mr Kelly said.

"This dog went through intolerable suffering and lost her life, all because her owner was irresponsible.

"The public is urged to contact the RSPCA with concerns of animal cruelty."

You can phone your local police, the RSPCA Inspectorate on 9770 7555 or RSPCA Emergencies on 9707 2828.

"The RSPCA thanks NSW Police officers for their efforts in helping animals in distress," Mr Kelly said.

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