A 42-year-old woman has been fined $4000 and banned from owning animals for four years after leaving her cat locked in a room without food or water for at least a week.

The Fremantle Magistrates Court heard a WA Police officer contacted the RSPCA last year, reporting concerns for the ginger cat, John.

The officer was at the offender’s Langford house when he spotted John through a locked window. He described the cat as having sunken eyes with his spine, hips and ribs visible.

An RSPCA inspector went to the home and also saw the cat through the bedroom window. No food or water could be seen. All the doors and windows were locked but the inspector could hear John meowing. A neighbour told the inspector no one had been at the house for two weeks.

The inspector obtained an emergency warrant to enter the house which she did with the help of a locksmith. Once inside, the inspector found the cat had been locked in a bedroom where there was no food or water, apart from some dry instant noodles.

The inspector carried John to the kitchen where he drank from the tap. There were empty cat bowls in the kitchen.

The inspector seized John and took him to Baldivis Vet Hospital where he was found to be dehydrated, with evidence of going a long time without food or water.

He was then taken to the RSPCA’s Animal Care Centre in Malaga where he received medical treatment.

John remains in the care of the RSPCA. He has fully recovered and is enjoying life with a foster carer. His weight has nearly doubled since his rescue.

Executive Manager Animal and Enforcement Operations, Hannah Dreaver, said it’s terrible to think how much John would have suffered without access to food and water for so long.

‘Imagine being desperately hungry and thirsty for days on end but not being able to do anything about it,’ Hannah said.

‘It is outright callousness to leave an animal to just slowly fade away which is exactly what would have happened if the police officer hadn’t reported what he saw.

‘Our animals rely on us for everything. The absolute least we can do is make sure they have enough food and water.’

Hannah thanked Baldivis Vet Hospital and WA Police for their assistance in this case.

The offender was also ordered to pay $1474.14 in costs.

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 at online here.