A 60-year-old man from Western Australia has been dealt over $100,000 in penalties, an animal cruelty charge, and a 40 year animal ownership ban in the wake of RSPCA inspectors seizing 39 dogs from him.

The horrific conditions in which the dogs were living were brought to their attention after a customer came by to purchase a dog from the man’s Bridgetown property in January 2022. He was asking for $5000 a puppy, despite the filth the dogs were being forced to live in – reportedly facing everything from infection to drinking from sewage pipes.

In a post to RSPCA WA’s Facebook account, it was revealed that the man “has been given what amounts to a lifetime ban from breeding animals after RSPCA inspectors seized 39 labradoodles from his Bridgetown home in January.

“The offender was banned from owning any animal for 40 years, with one notable exception; the Magistrate ruled he could have up to three sterilised dogs.

The offender, who pleaded guilty to 28 charges of animal cruelty, has also been fined $112,000, $64,000 of which was suspended for two years.”

It went on to outline the conditions the inspector had encountered, and that – importantly – the “The dogs continue to recover in the care of RSPCA WA.”

Kylie Green, Inspector Manager for RSPCA WA, explained that the dogs were examined by a veterinarian after they were removed from the property, and discovered that they were suffering from a whole host of conditions – with everything from ear infections to matted fur, dental disease, and conjunctivitis.

“A lot of the dogs and puppies were also suffering from significant psychological harm, as determined by a veterinary behaviourist,” she added.

“Some of them just stood in their kennels for weeks after they first came here, staring at the wall and refusing to interact.

“It’s a credit to our expert staff and network of dedicated foster carers that they’ve come as far as they have, but this is what people need to stop and consider when they are looking to buy a ‘cute’ puppy.”

Kyle went on to stress the importance of evaluating the conditions any puppy is being raised in before buying, whether “you buy from an unregistered breeder, if you buy off the internet or social media”. As without “clean, safe conditions” and a “happy and healthy” mother, “there’s a chance you are supporting this kind of cruelty.”

Images: RSPCA WA / Facebook

This article first appeared on Over60.