‘You completely failed in your duty to care for a pet’
A Slade Point mother has been labelled "completely irresponsible" in a horror animal negligence case that involved a skeletal, flea-riddled dog named Angel and her puppies that were slowly dying from malnourishment.
When the RSPCA visited the Amhurst St home a number of times in January 2020, Michelle Lee Pomfrett said inspectors could take Angel but she refused to give up eight 2.5-week-old puppies.
Mackay Magistrates Court heard the animals were confined to a room with no access to food and water.
In fact Pomfrett, who receives Centrelink payments, had previously told police she did not have enough money to buy food for Angel, who had been surviving off scraps being thrown over the fence.
A neighbour told RSPCA inspectors there had been 13 puppies but they were slowly dying.
"I loved Angel dearly," Pomfrett told Mackay Magistrates court.
"The reason there was no bed was because she slept in our bed."
Pomfrett, who was self-represented, told the court she had given the five puppies away and repeatedly said the animals had been left with her by her daughter.
"Well that would be odd given they were only 2.5 weeks old," Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan said.
The magistrate completely rejected Pomfrett's claims.
"I don't accept that you loved the dog," Ms Hartigan said.
"You were completely irresponsible. You completely failed in your duty to care for a pet."
The court heard police had to force entry through the back door on January 22 so the RSPCA could seize Angel, her puppies and two cats from the home, which had faeces smeared throughout the floors.
"I would be interested to know how much each puppy sought because they were very expensive puppies," Pomfrett said midway through the case.
This was after initially claiming she had believed the puppies would be put down if seized, as the reason she would not give them up.
The court heard the 52 year old is also facing a serious assault police charge, from this incident, which is yet to be finalised.
Pomfrett told the court she "wasn't fast enough" when they were at her door.
"I was getting around to opening the door," she claimed.
The court heard after being examined Angel, an American staffy bull terrier, was given a rating of two out of 10 for her weight and was flea riddled. Her ribs could be seen poking from her skin.
Her puppies also had fleas.
"Angel was in a dreadful state," Ms Hartigan said.
"She was slightly emaciated," Pomfrett said.
Since she was seized by the RSPCA Angel put on weight and all animals have since been rehomed.
Pomfrett pleaded guilty to failing to provide appropriate food or water and obstructing an RSPCA officer.
She told the court her bipolar medication at stopped working and she had reached "crisis" point because of menopause.
She was ordered to pay $7791.51, which included a fine as well as court, legal and care costs, and banned from owning any animal for three years.
Convictions were not recorded.