CRUELTY: Border collie Millie was found tethered to a vehicle and couldn't reach her water bucket.
CRUELTY: Border collie Millie was found tethered to a vehicle and couldn't reach her water bucket. contributed

Father of 7 banned from owning pets for 5 years

JUST because a person can own a pet, doesn't mean they should.

This is exactly the case for Mount Perry's Hanlon family, with several of them facing Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday for numerous animal cruelty charges.

Father-of-seven Craig Hanlon, 42, was charged with breaking an order forbidding him from owning animals, and failing to provide appropriate living conditions for three dogs and two budgerigars.

RSPCA lawyer Nicole McEldowney told Magistrate Neil Lavaring that in 2016 Hanlon had with his ex-wife pleaded guilty to five charges of breaching duty of care and two abandonment charges after failing to provide food for three horses, who were found emaciated.

So when an RSPCA inspector received reports of underweight horses and dogs kept on tethers at the Hanlon's Mount Perry home in July, they investigated.

What they found was three dogs on tethers, including two bull mastiffs, Rusty and Ruffy, who had no water. The third dog, ahad no shelter.

CRUELTY: Rusty the bull mastiff was tied up and able to reach shelter under the house, but couldn't get to water.
CRUELTY: Rusty the bull mastiff was tied up and able to reach shelter under the house, but couldn't get to water. contributed

Daughter Kiara Hanlon told the inspector she lived there with her brother and father, and that two of the dogs belonged to her dad.

Ms McEldowney said on November 1 the inspector issued an Animal Welfare Direction pursuant to Kiara Hanlon, asking her to remove the dogs from the tethers and give them "appropriate living conditions”.

Two weeks later, the inspector returned to check on the dogs and saw a border collie, Millie, was tethered to a vehicle and couldn't reach her water bucket.

Bull mastiff Ruffy was tethered on a short chain to a scrap tray from a ute, and couldn't reach his water either.

Rusty the bull mastiff was tied up and able to reach shelter under the house, but couldn't get to the water.

The three dogs were later seized.

Vets later diagnosed all three dogs with hookworm infestations.

On November 22, Craig Hanlon left a message to the inspector saying "... you and me are gonna have words, alright that is your last warning and your first warning”.

CRUELTY: Rusty the bull mastiff was tied up and able to reach shelter under the house, but couldn't get to water.
CRUELTY: Rusty the bull mastiff was tied up and able to reach shelter under the house, but couldn't get to water. contributed

Hanlon told Mr Lavaring he didn't want to go to jail as he was a recent new grandfather.

Mr Lavaring sentenced Hanlon to three months in jail, suspended for three years.

Hanlon was also ordered to pay $5850 in fines and costs.

He is now banned from owning animals until January 31, 2024.