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Midland woman convicted of animal cruelty

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Roberta Walton, 38, was found guilty of three counts of animal cruelty, fine $6000, and prohibited from being in charge of, or having any contact with, an animal for 10 years, after her two dogs were found so badly starved that their rib bones could be counted.

Her two dogs, a tan Jack Russell terrier cross and a black Staffordshire bull terrier cross, were discovered when inspectors from the RSPCA visited in December 2012.

The inspectors were acting on a complaint about the poor condition of the two dogs.

When they arrived at Walton's property, they found the two emaciated dogs with hip bones and ribs protruding.

They were in such poor shape that they were seized.

The dogs were taken to Midland Veterinary Hospital immediately for assessment, where a veterinarian noted that both dogs were in poor body condition with a score of 0.5 out of 5, emaciated and dehydrated.

The Staffordshire terrier had a flea infestation that could have easily been taken care of through the use of flea control products.

RSPCA WA chief executive Davd Van Ooran said the dogs had been left to starve in appalling conditions.

Walton was found guilty on two counts relating to a dog not being provided with proper and sufficient food and water and one count relating to cruelty as the animal suffered harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps.

Unfortunately, the Staffordshire terrier was in such bad shape that it had to be put down.

Walton was ordered to pay $1015 in costs in addition to the ban and the $6000 fine.

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