A Wollongong mechanic has admitted he failed to get veterinary treatment for his cancer-riddled dog, causing her to become so sick and emaciated she eventually had to be put down.
Zlate Talevski told the RSPCA inspector who seized the Staffordshire bull terrier bitch from his property last October that he'd realised the animal had begun losing weight about six months ago when she developed a lump on her stomach area.
However, he said he had not taken her to the vet because he couldn't afford it.
In my professional experience, this tumour has been present for at least six months and possibly much longer without receiving adequate veterinary treatment.
Documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court reveal the inspector attended Talevski's property on the afternoon of October 8 after receiving reports on a skinny dog with "big lumps under its belly" oozing pus and blood.
The inspector discovered the dog in the back yard of the home and immediately noticed the bitch was in extremely poor condition, with her hips, ribs and spine protruding, along with a large tumour-like growth under her stomach that was seeping pus.
The inspector immediately seized the animal. She said she tried to lead the dog out to the car but it collapsed on the ground and she had to carry it to the vehicle.
The animal was taken to a Wollongong vet, who carried out a thorough examination before the decision was made to euthanise the dog after it was deemed too cruel to keep her alive.
A post-mortem revealed the bitch's body was riddled with cancer.
The 10cm-wide lump under the dog's stomach was identified as a cancerous tumour, while secondary tumours were found on her lungs and lymph nodes.
She was also discovered to have had chronic kidney disease, multiple pressure wounds and moderate anaemia.
A report prepared by the vet said the tumours would have taken months to form and to not have them treated amounted to neglect.
"In my professional experience, this tumour has been present for at least six months and possibly much longer without receiving adequate veterinary treatment," the vet wrote.
"In my opinion, it's very clear that this dog was neglected and has not received appropriate care.
"There has been a lack of provision of basic animal husbandry which has been further complicated by a severe disease process which requires a greater level of care.
"This has been a long-term issue of at least six months duration."
Talevski was subsequently issued with a notice to attend court and pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated animal cruelty on Thursday.
Magistrate Claire Girotto adjourned the case for a week for a sentencing report to be prepared.