The one-year-old Havanese named Loca, who later died in veterinary care, was found to have ingested meth a total of four times in the space of just a year, with RSPCA officers branding the “clear and repeated failure of responsibility seriously disgusting”.
The western Sydney woman, 30, was also found to have allowed Loca to ingest opioids, that on a number of occasions led to the dog suffering a life-threatening illness.
RSPCA officers were made aware of the woman’s negligence in February of 2022 after obtaining veterinary records showing the animal had been treated for meth poisoning four times in a 12-month period.
According to the records, “several veterinary clinics” showed that the “toxicosis had often been life-threatening,” requiring intensive treatment to stabilise little Loca.
Officers tried unsuccessfully on three seperate occasions to locate the owner and her pet following the fourth poisoning, however they were unable to be found until late May, when the dog again was presented to to a vet clinic for poisoning.
Woman claims dog ‘was always looking for trouble’
When questioned, the Sydney woman claimed Loca had consumed the drugs accidentally at an off-lead dog park in North Parramatta. She said that every time the pair visited the park Loca “found and ate something”.
Each time the animal ingested the drug was simply a case of “bad luck”, she claimed, suggesting that Loca was “looking for trouble all the time”.
Toxicology results ‘frankly disgusting’
The dog was eventually seized by the RSPCA and a subsequent toxicology report confirmed drugs in Loca’s system. The animal died a short time later, with the official pathologists unable to determine a clear cause of death.
“How this little dog was able to repeatedly ingest illicit drugs is frankly disgusting,” RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers said.
“RSPCA NSW echoes the court’s view that most pet owners try desperately to do the right thing and to meet their obligations to their animals. But this was a clear and repeated failure of responsibility that caused needless suffering to an animal. It will not be tolerated.”
The woman plead guilty to animal cruelty charges and was convicted and sentenced to 15 months’ community service. She was banned from “acquiring, owning, or having anything to do with the care of animals” for a period of five years.
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