This is the heartbreaking image showing two dogs who died side by side from starvation and dehydration.
They were left locked in the laundry of an Albury, NSW home without food or water for more than two weeks.
Kelpie puppy Ruby and two-year-old staffy cross breed Benji were found dead among a strong pungent smell of dog faeces and urine, dog faeces all over the floor and an empty ice-cream container.
Their owner, Kimberly Thi-My Atwell, was on Thursday fined $144, ordered to complete 80 hours of community service and banned from owning animals for five years by Magistrate Rodney Brender of the Albury local court.
An RSPCA inspector found the dogs in her home in August 2017 before later learning in an interview with Atwell she hadn’t given them food or water for 11 days.
She admitted both dogs were skinny when last fed, the animal welfare group said in a statement on Thursday.
Ms Atwell had found the dogs dead the day before the inspector made the discovery and had intended to bury them but hadn’t gotten around to it.
The courts heard the dogs were locked in the laundry as they weren’t allowed outside and she only fed them outside.
Both dogs were rated one out of nine for health and were deemed to have died from a combination of dehydration and starvation.
A healthy dog typically has a rating of nine.
‘What can you even say about a case as sad and frustratingly avoidable as this?’ RSPCA NSW Deputy Chief Inspector Scott Meyers said.
‘Our job never gets easier, seeing horrific stuff like this. I can’t even imagine the pain and suffering these poor dogs went through over an extended period of time and in their last hours.’
The inspector also urges anyone who suspects animal cruelty to call the RSPCA hotline immediately so they can rescue the suffering animals before it is too late.