Vegan couple banned from owning pets after feeding their severely malnourished puppies a meat-free diet

·2 min read
Photos of the emaciated puppies in Queensland, Australia
Puppies Ula and Roo were severely malnourished after being fed a vegan diet. RSPCA
  • An Australian couple fed their Arab Bull puppies a vegan diet consisting of grains and chickpeas.

  • They have been charged with counts of animal cruelty, fined and banned from owning a pet for three years.

  • One of the dogs was rehomed, but the other puppy - Roo - was euthanized.

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An Australian couple has been banned from owning pets for three years and fined around $7,000 for feeding their emaciated dogs a vegan diet, according to ABC Australia.

James McKenzie and Megan Price, from Cow Bay in Queensland, were each charged with two counts of failing to treat an animal and one count of failing to comply with an animal welfare direction, the news outlet reported.

The couple had their Bull Arab puppies seized from their property in May 2020 after the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) found the starving pets in a terrible condition, ABC Australia said.

The puppies, named Roo and Ula, had reportedly been fed a diet consisting only of chickpeas, quinoa, rice, and grains. A search warrant found that no dog food, meat products, or bowls of water were available at the property, the MailOnline said.

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The RSPCA had made several visits prior to seizing the pets following reports of animal cruelty, according to ABC Australia.

On one of the earlier visits, Roo was underweight, unable to stand, and to suffer from stomach blisters, the news outlet reported. The dog had an injured back leg and was put in a homemade cast because McKenzie and Price could not afford vet treatment, ABC Australia said.

At a later visit, McKenzie reportedly confronted RSPCA staff. "You eat murdered animals. You will never be like us - we are vegans and love animals," she said, according to the MailOnline.

Eventually, the animals were rescued and underwent emergency medical treatment.

Veterinarian Paul Matthews described the dogs as "emaciated" and suffering from severe malnourishment and nutritional imbalance because of being fed an inappropriate diet for approximately three months, ABC Australia said.

Fortunately, Ula's condition improved and he was eventually rehomed and renamed Scrappy-Doo. His front paws, however, have been permanently disfigured, the media outlet reported.

Roo was, unfortunately, put down after three vets had concerns about his quality of life due to chronic pain, Newsweek said.

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