A vegan couple has been banned from owning pets after giving their puppies a meat-free diet.
James McKenzie and Megan Price, from Cow Bay in Queensland, Australia, fed their two canines, Roo and Ula, a diet of chickpeas, quinoa, rice and grains before the animals were seized by the RSPCA.
When the pets were removed from the property, Mr McKenzie reportedly told inspectors: “You eat murdered animals, you will never be like us – we are vegan and love animals.”
After being rescued, the bull-Arab-cross puppies were taken for emergency treatment. Although Ula was eventually renamed and rehomed, Roo tragically had to be put down when three independent vets voiced concerns he was suffering from chronic pain, ABC Australia reports.
Veterinarian Dr Paul Matthews found that after being placed on an inappropriate diet for three months, both puppies had been suffering from nutritional imbalances and severe calcium deficiency.
An RSPCA inspector who visited the couple’s home noticed that the dogs were underweight before the animals were seized.
Roo was also suffering from blisters on his stomach. The couple explained that they had made the puppy a homemade cast for his injured leg and it was rubbing on his skin.
They then added that they couldn’t afford to take him to the vets for proper treatment and that they couldn’t buy dog food. Instead, the pets were living on rice and chickpeas.
The inspector issued them two AWDs and ordered them to take the animals to the vet.
But when the investigator returned, Mr McKenzie said the puppies had ‘gone to God’.
A search warrant then discovered that there was no meat product on the property. Ms Price told the inspector that she had been making her own dog food for the puppies but refused to reveal the ingredients.
The couple has now been charged with two counts of failing to treat an animal and one count of failing to comply with an animal welfare direction (AWD), between April and May 2020.
They’ve also been charged $8,600 in fines, legal costs and veterinarian bills.
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