File photo. Picture: Tracey Adams
Durban - The Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a Durban woman who chained and starved her three dogs to a R30 000 fine or 12 months behind bars, suspended for five years, for contravening the Animal Protection Act.

This was according to a statement issued by the Durban and Coastal SPCA yesterday.

The SPCA said the woman had also been barred from owning any animals for the next five years.

SPCA spokesperson Lindsey Concer said this was the largest fine the animal protection agency had secured for animal neglect and cruelty.

Concer said it was justice for the one surviving animal, Roxy.

Two of the woman’s three dogs were in such a state of neglect by the time SPCA inspectors discovered them last year that they had to be put down, she said. “They had been chained up with no shelter, no water and no food in an awful backyard that was littered with garbage and faeces,” Concer said.

Roxy had been in a “terrible condition”, she said, but SPCA staff nursed her back to health and she had been adopted by “a lovely new family” in October.

Concer said the sentence handed down last Friday “sent a clear message that cruelty to animals will not go unpunished”.

She added that barring the woman from owning any animals for five years was important.

“It doesn’t happen as often as you want it to, but when that’s included in the sentence it’s such a win for us,” she said.

SPCA inspectors would check to ensure the woman complied.

“And we hope her neighbours will keep an eye out too,” Concer said.

The Mercury