Dog breeder guilty of 40 animal cruelty charges
A MIA MIA dog breeder pleaded guilty to multiple animal cruelty charges last week.
Fiona McCoy was one of two Victorian dog breeders facing 40 criminal charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, relating to more than 60 dogs seized by RSPCA Victoria last year.
Ms McCoy and Dan Murphy appeared before Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for the first day of a scheduled three-day criminal proceeding, but instead entered a plea of guilty.
RSPCA Victoria’s prosecutor, Senior Inspector Daniel Bode, said the resolution was the result of more than a year’s work by RSPCA Victoria’s Special Investigations Unit into the illegal dog breeding establishment in Wendouree.
Multiple criminal charges were issued by RSPCA Victoria in February relating to housing and general health issues.
“Today’s outcome demonstrates the strength of our investigation and the commitment of our Inspectorate team,” Mr Bode said.
“The law clearly states that all animal owners must provide adequate care and protection, and those who fail to fulfil their obligations will be held to account.”
The RSPCA seized 68 dogs from Ms McCoy’s property near Ballarat early last year after it claimed the dogs were living in squalid conditions.
McCoy and Murphy forfeited dozens of dogs to RSPCA Victoria in August this year after failing to follow court orders requiring them to pay $20,552 a month towards the dogs’ care.
So far, 18 of the dogs have been rehomed and RSPCA Victoria continues to work towards rehoming the remainder.