30 May 2023

RSPCA WA has charged three people with a string of animal cruelty offences, after 47 animals were seized from appalling conditions at their Gidgegannup property.

Dogs, cats, goats, horses, and several smaller pets were found in various states of distress and neglect during a raid at the property earlier this year.

A 48-year-old woman, her 24-year-old daughter, and a 53-year-old man, who were all living at the home at the time, will each face 16 counts of animal cruelty.

On 23 January, six RSPCA WA inspectors, two vets and four staff members, with support from WA Police, executed a warrant at the address. They found the three-acre property was littered with household rubbish, rotting food, building materials and animal cages.

Inspectors immediately spotted three tethered dogs who appeared heat stressed. One dog was on a chain that had tangled to only a metre, stopping her from reaching water.

At the back of the property, inspectors located a goat with severely overgrown hooves. He was clearly in pain and unable to stand. Nearby, two other goats were tied up and unable to reach water. A horse on the property was also found to be in poor condition, with her ribs, hips, and spine visible.

Near the entry to the home, there were many overcrowded cages containing guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and birds. Most of the animals had no clean water or sufficient protection from the heat and were living among faeces. Some of the guinea pigs had open sores on their bodies, and several rats and rabbits were visibly heat stressed.

With help from police, RSPCA WA inspectors entered the home. Inside, the conditions were shocking. There were large piles of rubbish, which reached the ceiling in some places, and a strong smell of ammonia and faeces. One inspector noted the smell was so bad that it burned her eyes and nose.

Two small dogs were living inside the home. One had a suspected fractured jaw, while RSPCA WA vets believed the other was in pain due to dental disease and osteoarthritis. Six cats were living in crates with excessive faeces and no bedding or water. A subsequent vet check found they were all dehydrated.

RSPCA WA seized 5 dogs, 6 cats, 1 horse, 1 pony, 9 guinea pigs, 3 goats, 8 rabbits, 8 rats, 1 chicken, and 5 quails.

All three accused are charged under sections 19(1), 19(3)(b)(ii), 19(3)(d), 19(3)(h) and 19(3)(e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The charges relate to harmful confinement or restraint, failure to alleviate harm through reasonable steps, and failure to provide adequate food, water, or protection from the elements.

The 48-year-old woman faces two additional charges of hindering and threatening an inspector under section 77(a) of the Act. The male accused faces an additional charge under section 46(2), relating to his refusal to provide the RSPCA WA inspector with his date of birth.

The charges will be heard in Midland Magistrates Court on 26 June 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.