Cheryl, an American Bulldog mix, was more than twice the weight she should be for her breed, and was suffering from a huge growth on her front leg that impeded physical movement.
In the U.S., neglect cases are less cut and dry. What constitutes neglect is far less concrete, and it would be very unlikely that an American veterinarian would report an overweight animal as neglected.
Luckily in Australia it’s different.
Two Australian women were fined $1800 and issued an eight-year ban on owning animals following the removal of Cherl, their dangerously overweight bulldog.
When good samaritans noticed that Cheryl was showing signs of physical injury, an animal cruelty report was filed, and RSPCA officials paid Cherl’s owners, Belinda Jones and Stacy Thompson, a visit.
Officials found that Cheryl was more than twice the weight she should be for her breed standard, and was suffering from a number of related medical conditions including a growth on her front leg that impeded physical movement.
Given an official warning, Jones and Thomspon were left to address Cheryl’s injury and to begin working on a weight loss program for the immobile pup. Unfortunately, the pair did not put in the effort, and upon a return visit, RSPCA officials seized Cheryl from their custody.
Now, Jones and Thomspon must pay a fine, and are legally prohibited from purchasing or owning other animals for a period of eight years. In Australia, neglecting to follow a veterinarian’s direct orders can be considered neglect, and is cause for animal rights officials to remove the animal in question from its owners.
Thankfully, Cheryl is making a good recovery and is already far more mobile thanks to the efforts of her rescuers.