Diane Christine Wilkinson and Brendon Richard Wilkinson outside Maryborough Magistrates Court.
Diane Christine Wilkinson and Brendon Richard Wilkinson outside Maryborough Magistrates Court.

Lifetime ban for dog breeders, court hears confronting truth

A COUPLE, who had been breeding jack russells for about 30 years, has received a lifetime ban from owning any animals because of the conditions in which the dogs were kept.

Diane Christine Wilkinson, 71, and Brendon Richard Wilkinson, 77, both from Byrnestown, pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court to failing to provide appropriate accommodation or living conditions, failing to provide appropriate food and water and failing to provide appropriate treatment for an injury.

The court heard the couple were commercial dog breeders and owned 27 dogs at the time of offending.

All had since been rehomed or seized by the RSPCA.

During a visit from the RSPCA, dogs and their puppies were observed living in a shed on concrete floors.

There was inadequate bedding and a large build up of faeces and urine on the floor.

Advice was given in respect to the housing of the animals and the couple's cleaning regimen.

The court heard the enclosure was only being cleaned twice a week and the couple was told by RSPCA officers to provide bedding and make the enclosure larger.

A search warrant was later executed at the premises, which again showed a large build up of faeces and a lack of appropriate bedding.

Seven dogs were seized in the raid.

Three were underweight and several of the animals were riddled with fleas, the court heard.

An obese galah that could not fly was also seized.

The couple surrendered the animals that had been seized to the RSPCA.

The court heard the fact that the animals were being kept in such conditions for commercial gain was an aggravating feature.

The Wilkinsons had been married for 35 years.

They had bred their dogs once every two years and sold about 20 pups a year.

Their original motivation was a desire to improve the bloodline in Australia.

The court heard community standards had changed regarding the accommodation of animals over the years and the offending had resulted from the couple misunderstanding rather than being intentionally cruel.

With the exception of four cockatiels and nine goats already owned by the couple, they were banned from owning any other animals without permission from the RSPCA.

The Wilkinsons were ordered to pay $3380 in restitution to the RSPCA and placed on a $700 good behaviour order for two years.

No convictions were recorded.