Man tells parents their dog died while he slowly starves it
Warning: Distressing images
A CABOOLTURE man who was looking after his parents' Great Dane cared for it so inadequately she went from "fat and with a shiny coat" to having muscle wastage, while telling his parents their beloved pet had died.
Luke William Yeardye, 24, was charged with three offences under the Animal Care and Protection Act (QLD), including failure to provide appropriate shelter/accommodation, food/water and treatment for injury.
According to a Statement of Facts tendered in court by the RSPCA on Friday, Yeardye was in possession of Brighid, his parents' Great Dane-type dog, for about four months.
In that time, Brighid went from being "fat" to "emaciated", with "all bony prominences clearly visible and no subcutaneous fat cover on her body" and muscle wastage in her hind limbs.
On a body condition score of one to nine, where one is emaciated and nine os obese, Brighid was a two.
Brighid and a small puppy were confiscated on December 12, 2018, after a search warrant was executed by an RSPCA inspector.
The puppy was confined to an indoor living area where there was a "large build-up of rubbish, faeces, urine and other debris".
"There was a strong smell of ammonia and faeces emanating from the dwelling," the statement says.
After the dogs were seized, Yeardye made no contact with the RSPCA to have them returned and it wasn't until January 30, 2020 they were able to make contact with a relative of Yeardye.
He was interviewed later that day, where he told inspectors he thought Brighid was sick but couldn't afford to take her to the vet.
He also said he couldn't afford her high-protein diet and instead had been feeding her kibble twice a day. He couldn't remember how often he walked her.
According to the statement, Yeardye didn't contact his parents because he didn't want to ask their help, and he didn't contact the RSPCA because he "had a lot on" and feared the consequences of his actions.
Defence lawyer Lex Weddell told the court Yeardye was on the verge of contacting them when he was dobbed in.
"Just in the nick of time," Magistrate Louise Shephard said.
Yeardye was fined just under $3000 in penalties and associated costs. He was also banned from owning pets for three years. No convictions were recorded.
Originally published as Man tells parents their dog died while he slowly starves it