Mum sentenced over treatment of three dogs
A MAREEBA mum who fed her pups meat pies because "she could not afford dog food" and kept them chained to a fence has been banned from owning dogs for five years.
Moose, a great dane cross Irish wolfhound, Horse the bull arab, and Rooster - a bull arab cross Irish wolfhound - were found by RSPCA inspectors at the residence of Tammy Ley Chong in January.
All three animals were lethargic, emaciated and "heavily infected with fleas".
The short lengths of chain stopped them from reaching shelter from the sun and all three dogs were forced to lie in the dirt during the day.
An RSPCA inspector warned Chong that the dogs were in poor shape and in July he confiscated the animals.
"He was horrified at the condition of the animals," Barrister John Eylander told Mareeba Magistrates Court.
Chong told the inspector she was planning on providing them with more suitable living conditions but "didn't get around to it."
"She had been struggling financially to care for herself and her three children, let alone the three dogs since her partner was incarcerated ... for bashing someone with a baseball bat," Insp Jackson said.
The court heard Chong, 26, fed Horse and Rooster meat pies donated from a friendly bakery.
"She 'just gave them thirty pies each,'" Mr Eylander said.
"Her friend owns a bakery and gave her the pies free of charge as she could not afford dog food."
Incredibly, Chong wanted to euthanize Rooster, who had suffered a burst abscess on his face.
"She could not afford any other type of treatment," Mr Eylander said
All there dogs were confiscated and taken to a vet, who noted all three were emaciated and that Moose and Horse suffered hookworm.
With treatment and regular feeding over a month, the dogs gained between 5.2kg and 8.4kg.
Chong was convicted of five breaches of the Animal Care and Protection Act.
She was sentenced to 240 hours of community service was also prohibited from owning any dogs for five years.
"Owning a dog is not compulsory and keeping a dog tied up in the back yard is cruel and unlawful," RSPCA Inspector Tracey Jackson said.
"We now know how harmful constant tethering can be for dogs."