South Australian cat breeder convicted of cruelty offences

A woman has been convicted of a series of animal cruelty offences after the RSPCA seized 188 cats from a property at Lewiston, north of Adelaide, earlier this year.

Sandra Yandell was today convicted in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court of nine counts of ill treatment of an animal and one count of failing to comply with Australian standards and guidelines for breeding and trading pets.

She was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence and a good behaviour bond.

According to the RSPCA, inspectors found the cats in squalid conditions at the property, with cat faeces littered throughout the house and three dead kittens on site.

The RSPCA said a number of the cats required veterinary care for health issues, including one cat with a pus-filled tooth socket and another suffering infection as a result of circular-growing claws.

The RSPCA said its inspectors seized the animals from the property in late May, and that most of them had since been rehomed, but some were still in veterinary or foster care.

A destroyed box surrounded by droppings, with a curtain in the background.
The RSPCA has warned prospective pet owners to check an animal’s living conditions before buying.(Supplied: RSPCA)

Yandell was prohibited from acquiring any further animals, but permitted to keep three cats under ongoing monitoring by the RSPCA, the organisation said.

People urged to check breeding facilities before buying a pet

RSPCA South Australia chief inspector Andrea Lewis said anyone who bought a kitten from Yandell would be shocked at the conditions their animal was being housed in.

“We urge people, as part of their due diligence, to see the breeding facilities firsthand and meet the parents of the animal they’re thinking of buying,” Ms Lewis said.

“It’s not about the kittens and puppies that look so appealing in the online adverts, it’s about the breeding mothers, forced to produce litter after litter.

A hallway covered in faeces.
RSPCA inspectors found the house covered in filth.(Supplied: RSPCA)

Earlier this week, the RSPCA released its files on 27 South Australian neglect and abuse cases and warned animal neglect could increase during the country’s coronavirus-prompted recession.

In February, a woman in regional SA was banned from keeping pets for five years after failing to groom four cavalier King Charles spaniels, in what the RSPCA described at the time as a “shocking case” of animal neglect.