Friday, November 25, 2016

Australia: Thirteen cats slowly starved to death, a 14th cat was the only survivor. Woman's punishment? One year of probation.

AUSTRALIA -- A woman who left 14 cats in her Adelaide home without food or water for so long they apparently ate each other, has been convicted of animal cruelty.

RSPCA inspectors raided the Woodville West home in the city's north-west in September last year, but only found one of the 14 cats still alive.

Chief inspector Andrea Lewis said it was heartbreaking for the staff involved.


"When RSPCA inspectors arrived at the property, the one surviving cat, completely emaciated, was crying out for us to hurry up and open the door," Ms Lewis said.

The RSPCA said the woman, 43, failed to attend numerous court appearances and was remanded in custody earlier this month.


Today, she was convicted of animal cruelty in the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court and was banned from owning animals, with the court taking mental health issues into consideration when sentencing.

The RSPCA released a video of their arrival at the woman's house, where an officer discovers the cats had been eating each other to survive.

"Is that a dead cat that's been eaten by the other cats?" one inspector asks.

"Yeah, there's a couple," another responds.


The RSPCA said there were many options available for owners who could no longer look after their pets.

"Ask friends, ask families or neighbors," Ms Lewis said.

"Call your local council or take them to an animal shelter. You simply cannot abandon animals, you have a legal responsibility for their well-being."

Clearly this woman didn't care about finding them homes or taking them to the shelter. She didn't care about them at all. If she did, she would have done those things. At the very least, she would have opened the door and turned them all loose. They had NO CHANCE at survival being locked up in an abandoned house to slowly starve to death - a horrific, painful, non-stop agonizing way to die.

The surviving cat, which staff named 'Trooper', was rehabilitated and adopted earlier this year.

"It's amazing. I think if he hadn't survived it would have been one of the worst days for our people," Ms Lewis said.

"To just find that one cat there I think gave them something to focus on other than the remains of all his friends.

"He seems like a well-adjusted cat and he's been adopted to some people who really adore him so we hope he has a good rest of his life."

Ms Lewis said Trooper likely only survived because he ate the remains of the other cats at the property.

She said inspectors would continue to monitor the woman to ensure she adheres to her ban on owning animals.

(ABC AU - Nov 23, 2016)