An Australian woman has been convicted of animal cruelty after she abandoned 14 cats in her home and left them to eat each other.
RSPCA inspectors found 13 dead cats and an emaciated survivor when they raided the property in Adelaide, South Australia.
RSPCA South Australia chief inspector Andrea Lewis said it was a “heartbreaking” case for staff. “They see some pretty awful things,” she told the BBC. “But this is something that will stay with them for a long time.”
The owner was finally convicted of animal cruelty in the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court after she failed to attend numerous court appearances and was remanded in custody.
Ms Lewis urged people to contact family, neighbours or an animal shelter if they were no longer able to care for their pets. “People should just never walk away and leave their animals,” she said. “Everyone has a legal obligation to look after animals in their care.”
The surviving cat, since named Trooper, has recovered and been adopted by a family in Adelaide. “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.”
“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. Ms Lewis said Trooper likely only survived because he ate the remains of the other cats at the property.
It’s hard to believe that someone that previously looked after so many cats could abandon them, let alone leave them to starve in a locked house where they were reduced to eating each others dead bodies.
The 43-year-old woman was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond and banned from owning animals which seems far too lenient a sentence. Inspectors will continue to monitor the woman to ensure that she adheres to her ban on owning animals.
If you think that one of your neighbors or acquaintances may have abandoned or could be mistreating an animal in any way, do not hesitate to contact the ASPCA/RSPCA who are trained to deal with these kind of situations.
You can also contact your local police, please do not try and take matters into your own hands.
( h/t: bbcnews )