‘Vet from hell’ is fined $2,000 and banned from owning pets after gruesome photos emerged 


A vet has been banned from owning pets after inspectors found a range of animals living in ‘appalling’ condition inside his home.   

Dr David Bruce Ziebell faced Southport Magistrates Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to breach of duty of care charges. 

The 51-year-old vet, who worked at a practice in Park Ridge, south of Brisbane, was handed a $2000 fine and banned from owning any pets for an 18-month period. 

Inspectors from the RSPCA had first uncovered the squalid conditions the animals were left in at Ziebell’s home in Jimboomba in October last year.

The animal welfare charity have since released grisly images which expose the true horror of how neglectful Ziebell had been.

One disturbing image shows how Ziebell left his pet Border Terrier named Cullie suffering with an agonising dental infection for more than a year.

RSPCA inspectors had to remove nearly all of Cullie’s teeth because the disease and become so severe, the court heard. 

A budgie was left with no water and 14 dead birds were also found at the veterinarian’s home. 

Another alarming image shows Ziebell’s unkempt veranda which was littered with animal faeces and a dead rat. 

Prosecutor Nathan Boyd said there were ‘few people better equipped’ to appropriately care for animals than Ziebell and said the vet ‘should have known better’ and ‘taken action sooner’.

Ziebell’s lawyer claimed his client had been focusing too much on work and had subsequently ‘got behind’ in his home life slip.

Ziebell also made an application to the court to have Cullie returned home to him.  

His application was denied, and Magistrate Kerrie O’Callaghan noted it was ‘deeply troubling’ a vet would allow his own dog to suffer the way he did. 

RSPCA prosecutor Tracey Jackson said Cullie had done ‘very well’ since being removed from Ziebell’s care.

‘Cullie can now enjoy the rest of her life. She has done very well in foster care and now gets to go to her forever home,’ she said.


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