‘Big shock’: Couple sentenced after dog dies during heatwave
THE owners of a dog that died after being tied up in the sun with no water on one of the hottest November days in Cairns history have been fined $600 and banned from owning a pet for a year.
The body of Shy, a young bull arab cross, was found by police officers in the backyard of a Manunda home on November 26, 2018, when temperatures climbed to a recorded 42.6 degrees during a three-day heatwave.
A worried neighbour had called the RSPCA after hearing the dog barking incessantly, but the dog was already dead by the time police arrived.
The Cairns Magistrates Court heard Shy had been a beloved family pet of couple Victor Auda, 25 and Thelma Wasaga, 31, and their five children.
Their solicitor, Lyndon Grant, told the court the family had left her in the care of a relative, while on a trip to Ravenshoe, who failed to move her inside as temperatures rose.
The court heard Shy had been left her tied up on a metre-long lead in the yard with no access to water.
The couple pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable steps to provide for an animal's needs.
Mr Grant argued they were not "directly responsible" for Shy's death and she was "much loved" by the family.
"She was an integral part of the family unit," Mr Grant said.
"The children loved the dog and treated it as a trusted and loyal friend.
"It was a lesson very well learned by my clients.
"They are very sorry for their actions because they did truly love that dog.
"It was a big shock to them when they arrived home."
Magistrate Alan Comans fined them $600 each, ordering half their fine be donated to the RSPCA.
He also banned the couple from owning a pet for one year.
Originally published as 'Big shock': Couple sentenced after dog dies during Cairns heatwave