Marsden Park Greyhound racing veteran failed to provide veterinary treatment for 12 dogs

80-year-old Marsden Park man Mr Charles Sultana was sentenced at Blacktown Local Court on 13 June for seven offences for failing to provide veterinary treatment to 12 Greyhounds found to be in poor condition.

Mr Sultana had entered a plea of guilty and the Court implemented a five-year prohibition order against Mr Sultana, which prevents him from purchasing, acquiring or taking possession or custody of the greyhound for a period of five years. Mr Sultana has also been fined a total of $2,800 with a moiety of fines ordered to RSPCA NSW.

The Court heard in agreed facts tendered on sentence that on 3 July 2018, RSPCA NSW inspectors attended a property in Marsden Park to a complaint in relation to the condition of a number of Greyhounds.

The inspectors met Mr Sultana at the property and in an electronically recorded interview at the scene, Mr Sultana admitted that the dogs belonged to him and that a sick Greyhound in his care had not been taken to a vet. He made further admissions that besides the 12 dogs on site, he had not owned any other Greyhounds in the past 12 months, and that he had a current license with Greyhound Racing but was not racing dogs at the time.

Upon inspection of the 12 dogs and their living conditions, nine of the greyhounds were seized so that they could be provided with immediate veterinary treatment over concerns relating to severe dental disease, pressure sores and fleas.

The three remaining dogs were left with Mr Sultana and he was issued with written instructions in accordance with s24N Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (NSW) 1979 to provide a veterinary consultation for dental disease, pressure sores, alopecia and skin problems, and a torn dew claw, as well as flea treatments with a veterinary recommended product within the next three days. He also had two days to comply and provide access to soft bedding to reduce incidence of pressure sores. 

On 9 July 2018, RSPCA NSW Inspectors attended the premises to follow up with Mr. Sultana regarding the written directions given to him. The three dogs left in his care had been provided with fresh bedding but had not received veterinary treatment. Mr Sultana was advised that the remaining dogs would be seized, he then chose to surrender three dogs along with the nine dogs seized on 3 July 2018.

All 12 greyhounds were taken to the RSPCA Sydney Shelter and presented to a veterinarian and intake protocol for disease control, worming, antiparasitic treatment and feeding plans were implemented.

The veterinarian conducting the examination found all 12 dogs had severe periodontal disease and moderate to heavy flea burden. All but one of the dogs had a parasitic intestinal worm burden, a mixture of hookworm, roundworm and whipworm.

Four dogs were in poor body condition, with one dog being emaciated and the other three in ‘very underweight’ condition. Ten of the dogs had pressure sores, two dogs had ear infections and another two dogs had overgrown fingernails, all causing unnecessary suffering and discomfort.

Magistrate O’Neill in the sentencing proceeding said, “You [Mr Sultana] are experienced with greyhounds, and it is a terrible shame that the greyhounds in your care ended up in the state they were in.”

After seizure the greyhounds were surrendered to RSPCA care, where 10 of the 12 greyhounds were adopted to loving families. One Greyhound was referred to Greyhound Rescue and one greyhound was humanely euthanised because of ongoing neurological issues.

At the time of the investigation, several greyhound carcasses were found buried on the property. Despite extensive forensic investigation, proceedings were unable to be commenced in relation to those dogs because the limitation period (12 months) had been exhausted and there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any of the remains were less than 12 months old, thus beyond the statutory authority for the RSPCA to commence any proceedings under POCTAA.

RSPCA NSW Deputy Chief Inspector Aaron Purcell has commented that “Greyhounds are quiet, sweet-natured dogs who do very well as companion pets. Ex-racing greyhounds transition well into a family home and its delightful to see that 11 of these dogs will live out their lives in a loving home.”

For more information or an interview with an RSPCA NSW spokesperson, please contact: 0488 905 353 or

All charges brought under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.