Woman who muzzled her pet dog Cookie with a rubber band and shoelace ‘to stop her barking’ pleads guilty to animal cruelty
A woman has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after causing horrific injuries to her pet poodle’s snout when she left a rubber band and shoelace around its jaws for up to a week.
Jodie May Paton, 28, of Wilsonton, Queensland, had tied the makeshift muzzle to her pet Cookie’s nose in a bid to stop her from barking.
Ms Paton claimed she had only left the dog for two days.
But solicitor Chris Lumme, who was prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard from the dog’s injuries led a veterinarian to estimate the muzzle had been on for between four and seven days, The Toowoomba Chronicle reported.
Cookie could not eat or drink and was, as a result, dehydrated and underweight.
When RSPCA officers were called out to the address where Cookie was located, she was bleeding from around the mouth and a ‘strong smell’ coming off her indicated her wounds were infected.
Despite admitting to hearing her dog whimpering and saying she had not wanted to harm her, Paton told officers she felt sorry for Cookie and knew about her injuries, The Chronicle reported.
Paton pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty by causing unnecessary and unreasonable pain.
She also pleaded guilty to one count of breaching a duty of care to an animal by failing to provide food and water.
Magistrate Damian Carroll told Paton ‘by any reckoning, this was a serious case of animal cruelty’, The Chronicle reported.
He also said maximum penalties for animal cruelty had been increased to three years imprisonment or a fine of $200,000.
The court heard Paton had been suffering depression caused by family issues.
Because she had no criminal history and was looking for work, Mr Carroll order the conviction not be recorded and ordered her to do 200 hours community service and pay $750 professional costs and $86.80 cost of summons.
She was also prohibited from having or acquiring any animal for two years, The Chronicle reported.
Cookie has since been re-homed, but will be left with scarring.