24 November 2022

A 42-year-old St James woman has been fined $2000 and prohibited from having contact with cats for two years after leaving her cat locked inside a house without adequate food or water for around two weeks.

The Perth Magistrates Court heard the RSPCA received a cruelty report in relation to the tabby and white female cat, named Puss Puss, in April.

An inspector attended the property and observed the cat through the windows. She could not see any noticeable signs of food or water.

The inspector’s attempts to contact the owner were unsuccessful so a warrant was obtained to enter the house with the help of a locksmith.

Puss Puss was found in a distressed state and the inspector reported there were no suitable food or water sources for her.

In the kitchen there were three empty bowls on the floor, a saucepan of dirty water on the stove top and various bits of mouldy food on the kitchen counter.

The inspector seized the cat; a vet examination found she was dehydrated and had an empty stomach.

Puss Puss continues to recover with an RSPCA foster carer.

Inspector Manager, Kylie Green, said today’s conviction is just one of several cases prosecuted by the RSPCA this year in which animals have been left for extended periods.

‘I understand that unplanned events happen in people’s lives, but you can’t leave your animals without the basics they need to survive,’ Inspector Green said.

‘Organise someone to go in at least once a day to feed and check on them; take them to a friend or relative’s house, or board them at a facility.

‘If you can’t manage any of those options, surrender them to a rescue organisation.

‘Whatever it is you have to do, you have a legal responsibility to ensure your pets are taken care of.’

The woman was convicted under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002, namely that she was cruel to an animal in that she did not provide sufficient food and water. In addition to her sentence, she was ordered to reimburse $1,180.23 of treatment and court 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.