GRAPHIC IMAGE: Bundaberg man starved dog to death
OSCAR the mastiff cross was a bag of bones with sunken eyes and no energy when he had to be put down.
His owner, Damian List, was yesterday fined $3000 in Bundaberg Magistrates Court over his treatment of the animal.
Wearing boardshorts and with his Ripcurl hat in his hands, List, 33, pleaded guilty to breaching his duty of care to Oscar just a week after being released from jail on unrelated offences.
Neighbours complained about Oscar's condition to the RSPCA on October 30 last year.
Inspectors attended List's Bargara house two days later and found Oscar locked in a laundry with food but no water.
List told inspectors the door must have blown shut, even though it was a sliding door.
The inspectors said Oscar struggled to stand, did not interact with List, was unresponsive and appeared sick and depressed.
Perversely, a black bull terrier cross at the property was seen to be in good condition.
List said Oscar may have been depressed as his children were not at the house.
The 33-year-old admitted they had not obtained vet treatment for Oscar since he had fallen ill two months earlier.
He and his former partner also suggested the dog's condition had been caused by a tick, or that it had been "scared by a snake".
The RSPCA inspectors ordered that List and his then-partner take Oscar for immediate vet treatment and flea treatment, which they said was "a bit dramatic" but nonetheless agreed to.
Oscar was examined at Bargara Veterinary Surgery the following day and vets determined that he was in such poor condition euthanasia was the only option.
An autopsy done on the dog found it was underweight, anaemic, infested with fleas and worms, and there was no other cause of his condition but the neglect of his owners.
Magistrate Belinda Merrin fined List $3000 and ordered he pay $550 for half of the RSPCA's legal fees, $92.90 for the cost of his summons and $112.70 for half the cost of the vet treatment.
Ms Merrin determined half of List's fine should go to the RSPCA.
She also ordered he be banned from owning or possessing animals - except for a cat he already owned - for two years.