20-year-old man convicted for starving Bull Arab dog

A Nelsons Plains man was convicted and sentenced at Raymond Terrace Local Court on 30 August 2021 after pleading guilty to multiple animal cruelty charges.

The charges include failing to provide proper and sufficient food and failing to provide veterinary treatment to his emaciated Bull Arab dog named Lila.

“Lila is the skinniest dog I have witnessed during all my days working as an inspector,” said RSPCA NSW Inspector Jarman.

“It’s a miracle she was able to make the physical recovery that she has, and that she has found an owner committed to her long-term health and happiness after such significant trauma.”

On 1 December 2020, the defendant’s landlord heard Lila crying from the backyard and found her lying motionless in the sun with no food or water. Lila was severely emaciated to the point she was unable to stand on her own.

The landlord took Lila to a local veterinarian the following day who found that the dog was emaciated, weighing 14.1 kg Lila was more than half the healthy weight of a dog her age and breed.

The examining vet determined that Lila had not been properly fed for up to eight weeks.

On 6 January 2021, an RSPCA NSW inspector spoke to the defendant and observed Lila, who had made improvements due to the care and veterinary assistance sought by the landlord.

The defendant confirmed he was the owner of the three-year-old Bull Arab dog and said that he had been feeding her approximately five times a week.


Lila weighed 14.1 kg when she was found with no food or water

Magistrate Cheetham commented the ‘defendant’s attempts to feed his dog were grossly unsuccessful and disqualified him from owning any animal for 5 years.

The defendant was convicted, placed on an 18-month community corrections order, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

The ownership of Lila was transferred to the landlord, who took responsibility for the treatment of the dog, including the significant costs associated with Lila’s rehabilitation and on-going management.

“There is no excuse to effectively starve an animal who is wholly dependent upon you,” RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers said.

“We implore people who are struggling to meet the basic needs of their pets to seek appropriate help, whether that is financial, mental health, or other reasons. Cruelty of this nature is preventable.”

GRAPHIC IMAGES WARNING. Images are available for download here.

All charges brought under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.


RSPCA NSW is a community-based, not-for-profit, animal welfare charity that protects, cares for, treats and rehomes animals across New South Wales.

Since 1928, the RSPCA NSW Inspectorate has performed a statutory role in enforcing state animal cruelty legislation. Over 35 dedicated inspectors investigate complaints against all types of animals, in all kinds of situations. The Inspectorate exists first and foremost to help people help their animals, and it is their intent to keep animals with their owners when it is in the ‘animal’s best interest to do so. They are empowered to deal with serious animal cruelty offences by the use of statutory powers and enforcement action.

Report animal cruelty via 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589) OR online at: https://www.rspcansw.org.au/contact/report-a-cruelty-case