An unemployed couple who fed their two dogs vegan diets which led to one being put down has been banned from owning pets for three years.
The vegan couple from far North Queensland fed their two puppies almost exclusively a vegan diet, leaving them severely malnourished and underweight.
James McKenzie and Megan Price were each charged with two counts of failing to treat an animal and one count of failing to comply with an animal welfare direction, ABC 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 been fed just chickpeas, quinoa, rice and grains.
Following a search warrant, authorities found no dog food, meat products or bowls of water were available on the property.
When Price was confronted by inspectors, she accused the RSPCA of "eating murdered animals", saying "you will never be like us — we are vegans and love animals".
Inspectors seized the 5-month-old puppies.
A video of the dogs by RSPCA Queensland showed the puppies were unable to stand up because they had been "lying down too long".
The RSPCA made several visits prior to seizing the pets following reports of animal cruelty.
On an earlier visit, Roo was underweight, unable to stand and suffered from stomach blisters, ABC reported.
The dog had an injured back leg and was put in a homemade cast because McKenzie and Price could not afford vet treatment.
Following the pets' rescue, they underwent emergency medical treatment.
Ula's condition improved and he was eventually rehomed and renamed Scrappy-Doo. His front paws, however, have been permanently disfigured.
However, Roo was put down after three vets had concerns about his quality of life due to chronic pain.
The couple were fined close to $9000 and banned from owning pets for three years.