PETITION TARGET: Australian Ambassador to the US Joe Hockey
Locked away in the laundry room without water or food, desperately crying for help while forced to wallow in a pool of urine and feces for two weeks — we can only imagine the immense fear, pain, and trauma endured by two dogs that suffered this fate in the suburb of Albury, New South Wales, Australia.
By the time RSPCA staff discovered two-year-old Staffy cross Benji and six-month-old Ruby the Kelpie last year, it was too late: their stiff bodies clinging to each other for comfort, both animals had died from a combination of starvation and dehydration, with their guardian, 21-year-old Kimberly Thi-My Atwell, admitting she hadn’t given them food or water for 11 days.
Atwell appeared in court this week to face the consequences of this appalling abuse. Her punishment? A fine of $144 and 80 hours of community service, along with a ban on owning animals for only five years.
This paltry sentence, handed down by Magistrate Rodney Brender at the Albury local court, is nowhere near fitting for this extent of cruelty. Such a slap on the wrist sends a dangerous message that those who torture and kill animals will face hardly any consequences at all.
Sign this petition urging the Australian government to push for stronger laws — and stiffer enforcement — in the state of New South Wales and throughout Australia, so animals are protected from cruelty and shocking crimes like this are treated with the severity they deserve.