A women whose dog died after she left it in a car for more than two-and-a-half hours has been banned from owning animals for the rest of her life, but told she can keep her two chihuahuas.
Anh Dinh of Ravenswood was convicted of animal cruelty after she pleaded guilty in the Launceston Magistrates Court on Friday.
The 60-year-old was waiting for an appointment at Mowbray Veterinary Clinic on September 23, 2016, when she fell asleep with two dogs on the backseat of her car.
In court on Friday, RSPCA prosecutor Glenn Carey said both dogs were in pet carriers not suitable for their size.
He said when Dinh woke up, she took the dead dog into the veterinary clinic and told staff it had choked.
Mr Carey said the dog’s body was “rigid and extremely hot to the touch” when veterinary staff attempted to retrieve it from the carrier.
Its body temperature was more than 42 degrees.
Dinh had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge, telling the court she thought someone else had killed her dog.
On Friday her lawyer Kirsten Abercromby said Dinh had missed an earlier appointment at the veterinary clinic and had decided to wait in her car rather than return home, in an effort to save fuel.
Ms Abercromby said the dog was a “treasured pet” and that Dinh continued to be distressed by its death.
During his sentencing, Magistrate Simon Brown said he accepted Dinh did not mean for the pet to die, but she had displayed a “surprising lack of knowledge” of how to care for a dog.
“This animal had a horrible death,” he said.
“This is serious lapse of care that has resulted in the death of an animal.”
Mr Brown said the situation could have easily been avoided if Dinh had taken the dogs home.
“You simply sat in the car, felt warm yourself and then fell asleep,” he said.
Dinh was ordered to pay a fine of $1000 and was disqualified from lawfully owning any more animals, with the exception of two chihuahuas already in her care.