An Adelaide couple have been convicted for animal cruelty after a dog and 16 cats were found living in squalor conditions and severely underweight.
The 31-year-old man and his 29-year-old partner were charged with three counts of ill-treatment of animals following repeated RSPCA visits to the couple’s former Kilburn home to investigate the care of animals.
RSPCA SA said its officers made repeat attempts to assist the couple in caring for the animals, with dog food, feeding instructions and flea treatment medication.
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The animal welfare agency said it also gave the couple the opportunity to surrender the pets, but said only five cats were given up.
Last year, the RSPCA and South Australian police executed a warrant and found the animals living in “squalid and unsanitary living conditions.”
The animals were seized from the home in Kilburn. Credit: RSCPA
“On entering the house, officers encountered an overwhelming smell of faeces and urine, with cat faeces and personal property scattered throughout every room,” a spokesperson for the RSPCA said.
“There was an insufficient number of litter trays for the large number of cats and the only water available to the animals was green”
One of the dogs — a mastiff-boxer cross — was found severely malnourished, weighing only 24kg. After being nursed back to health, he weighed 36.5kg.
The RSPCA said all animals were removed from the property and, except for two cats, all had been rehomed.
The 31-year-old Hope Valley man was sentenced to three years jail in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on September 22 for other offences, which was reduced to two years for time served on home detention.
Some of the animals were found to be underweight. Credit: RSPCA
The RSPCA said while the man was convicted of animal cruelty, he did not receive an additional sentence for the animal-related charges because of his time already spent in custody and drug addiction issues.
The 29-year-old woman was convicted in July 2023 and received a nine-month good behaviour bond.
RSPCA SA Chief Inspector Andrew Baker said the case highlighted the importance of desexing pets to prevent unwanted litters.
“We urge people to recognise their limits and only have the number of animals that they have the resources to maintain in good health, and to microchip, register and desex their animals, as required by law,” he said.
The RSPCA said the couple were not charged in relation to one of the dogs, Chester, who was found at the home last year slightly underweight.
Chester, a staffordshire bull terrier cross, was returned to live with the couple in their new home in February this year.
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