14 June 2023

A 66-year-old man has been charged with animal cruelty, after the RSPCA seized 58 animals from squalid conditions at his home near Toodyay.

On 6 July 2021, two RSPCA WA inspectors, an RSPCA WA vet, and two police officers executed a warrant at the 16-acre property. They found dogs, cats, goats, and a variety of birds living in filthy conditions in and around the house.

Two dogs, a Dalmatian and a Rottweiler, were living among faeces and rubbish on the veranda. Both dogs were underweight, while the Dalmatian also had infected ears and pressure sores on her back end.

Inside, the home was cluttered with rubbish and household items. The floor was covered in a shocking amount of faeces and urine.

In the living area, inspectors found two cats inside a small bird cage. The bottom of the enclosure was thick with built-up faeces and there was no clean water available. Nearby, a kitten was being kept in a faecesridden dog training crate, without food or water.

The accused’s bedroom floor was layered with soiled newspaper, and there were several large buckets filled with urine around the room. Inspectors spotted two dogs–a Staffy-cross and a Pomeranian–shut inside a filthy pet carrier on the floor with no food or water.

At the back of the property, inspectors found eight large enclosures containing a variety of birds and several goats. None of the animals had clean drinking water, and some cages contained decaying animal carcases that were emitting a strong smell.

Five smaller cages and crates near the home contained deceased and neglected canaries, hens, roosters, and quails. There were also two deceased horses on the property.

Due to suspected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2002, RSPCA WA seized 4 dogs, 5 cats, 4 goats, 14 ducks (2 of which were deceased), 7 hens, 4 roosters, 9 pigeons, 1 budgie, 1 weiro, 4 canaries, 5 quails.

The animals were transported to RSPCA WA, where a vet check uncovered a multitude of health issues, including: fleas; skin, eye and ear infections; parasitic and bacterial infections; and dental problems.

Most of the animals were in poor body condition, ranging from underweight to emaciated, while 32 animals, including birds and the goats, were found to have lice infestations.

All 58 animals were later surrendered to RSPCA WA by the accused. He has been charged under sections 19(1), 19(3)(b)(ii), 19(3)(d), 19(3)(e) and 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The charges related to harmful confinement or restraint, failure to alleviate harm through reasonable steps, failure to provide adequate food, and failure to provide protection from the elements.

The charges will be heard in Midland Magistrates Court on 10 July 2023.

The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect. Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or online here.