The RSPCA has released details of horrific cruelty cases in South Australia, amid a warning from the organisation that animal neglect could increase during the country’s coronavirus-prompted recession.
- RSPCA SA prosecuted 29 people over animal cruelty in the past financial year
- The organisation is concerned about the effect Australia’s recession will have on animals
- Chief inspector Andrea Lewis said people should be realistic about their ability to afford animals before they buy them
Among the files released are 27 chronic animal abuse and neglect cases, involving 29 defendants, prosecuted in the past financial year.
In that time, more than 800 animals were seized or surrendered during welfare investigations and brought to RSPCA SA’s Lonsdale shelter, south of Adelaide.
Twelve animals were also found dead or dying by RSPCA inspectors during those welfare checks.
One case involved an act of deliberate cruelty, involving a German Shepherd found in a Mount Gambier backyard with her muzzle cable-tied.
Four cases involved animal abandonment, including a woman who left two puppies without food and water in a Glenelg North motel room and never returned, and a couple who left 10 cats and a dog in a squalid house south of Adelaide.
Six defendants received suspended prison sentences and two others received an immediate one-month prison term.
The annual compilation of files was released today for the third consecutive year, as part of the RSPCA’s month-long ‘Combat Cruelty’ campaign, aiming to raise awareness about the causes of animal suffering in SA.
The organisation is calling for “wider community acceptance of pet ownership as a privilege” that comes with “clear responsibilities and obligations”.
RSPCA South Australia chief inspector Andrea Lewis said “the reality is that caring for animals is not inexpensive, so not everyone can afford to have them”.
“If you find that you can’t afford to feed your animals properly and get them to a vet, then finding them a new, good home or surrendering them to a reputable animal welfare organisation like RSPCA is the kindest thing you can do for your pet.”
But Ms Lewis emphasised that many cases of animals being left to suffer were not linked to owners’ financial hardship.
“It’s owners who choose to spend their incomes on anything but the things needed to keep their animals healthy — or even alive,” she said.
“Why some people even have animals is a mystery to us, when they don’t engage with them and show no regard for their wellbeing.”
Rescue dog Rosco was neglected before being taken into the care of the RSPCA and being rehomed.
His new owner, Jasmine, is pleading with pet owners to take care of their animals.
“I just don’t know how anyone could want to do anything to an animal,” she said.