|Fox Terrier dog and 5 puppies in cage on veranda taken on 7 December 2011|
An RSPCA Inspector responded to a complaint about the welfare of cats at the woman's premises on 7th December 2011. Four RSPCA Inspectors and a veterinarian returned on 13th December 2011 after obtaining a search warrant to enter the premises in order to assess the condition of animals inside the dwelling. A total of 89 animals were seized including 49 cats and kittens, 7 dogs, 12 puppies, 11 rabbits, 5 roosters and 5 birds. The animals were assessed and treated by several veterinarians. All were reported to have suffered severe neglect and deprivation.
The stench of the dwelling was described as toxic with years of accumulated animal urine, faeces and contaminated rubbish. Many of the animals were living in small filthy cages, some stacked upon others. Their food and water was contaminated with urine, faeces, dirt and fur. Dead animals were embedded in mounds of contaminated rubbish on the floor, in cages and in the outside cattery. There was no evidence of any attempt to clean or maintain a reasonable standard of hygiene in the animal cages, cattery or aviaries. In most cases newspaper was layered over the top of soiled paper to depths of up to 30 centimetres.
The woman was convicted and placed on a three year Section 9 good behavior bond. She has been prohibited from owning animals for ten years with the exception of a dog and a cat (which both must be de-sexed). The bond has conditions permitting RSPCA officers to inspect any premises at which the woman resides or controls to ensure compliance with the prohibition order. She must also obey any reasonable direction given by an RSPCA officer in relation to the care or treatment of the animals remaining in her care.
The woman was ordered to pay $50,000 towards the veterinary/boarding costs of the seized animals and $6,000 towards the RSPCA’s professional costs (total costs $56,000).
All charges are under NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Regulations