A couple whose dogs became severely malnourished after they were kept on a vegan diet have been fined and banned from owning animals for three years.

Roo and Ula, were seized from a property in Australia in May 2020, after the RSPCA found the emaciated bull-arab-cross puppies had been fed chickpeas, quinoa, rice and grains.

Ula was renamed and rehomed after he underwent emergency treatment, but Roo was put down after three independent vets raised concerns about his chronic pain, ABC Australia reports.

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 (AWD) between April and May 2020.

When the dogs were being seized, Mr McKenzie told inspectors: "You eat murdered animals, you will never be like us — we are vegans and love animals."

Scrappy Doo, previously named Ula, was found to be severely malnourished and underweight after she was kept on a vegan diet
Scrappy Doo, previously named Ula, was found to be severely malnourished and underweight after she was kept on a vegan diet

But veterinarian Dr Paul Matthews found that three months of an inappropriate diet had led to severe nutritional imbalances and severe calcium deficiencies in both puppies.

During one of the first visits to the couple's home, RSPCA inspectors noticed that both dogs were underweight.

Roo was also suffering with blisters on his stomach, because the couple had made a homemade cast for his injured leg and it was rubbing on his skin.

The couple said they could not afford a trip to the vet or dog food, so the puppies were being fed on rice and chickpeas.

Roo was put down after three independent vets raised concerns about his chronic pain
Roo, who was severely malnourished after months of a vegan diet, was put down after three independent vets raised concerns about his chronic pain

They were issued with two AWDS, which ordered them to have the puppy examined by a vet immediately.

But when the investigators returned to check on them dogs, Mr McKenzie said they were "not with us anymore" as they had "gone to God".

They went back again with a search warrant and found there were no dog food or meat products at the property, only human food, such as lentils, rice, pasta, quinoa and grains.

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When the dogs were seized, Ms Price told the inspector she made her own dog food for the puppies, but she refused to reveal what ingredients she used.

After the dogs were seized, the owners were banned from owning pets for three years ordered to pay $8,600 in fines, legal costs and veterinarian bills.

Yesterday, a 50-year-old man was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition after he was attacked by a dog in Bolton.

Police officers and an air ambulance crew were called to Yewdale Gardens in Breightmet, at around 1.20pm after the man suffered severe face and arms injuries.

Greater Manchester Police said the dog "has now been secured" and is "due to be destroyed".

There has been speculation that the man who suffered the attack might be the dog's owner.