Last week, RSPCA ACT Inspectors attended a house in Banks for a routine follow up visit on an existing client. Inspectors surveyed the area and found a large number of animals living in single family home. A total of 147 animals including birds, quails, cats, dogs and poultry were removed from the premises. Thirteen of these animals required immediate euthanasia due to disease and humane reasons.
RSPCA ACT Senior Inspector Catherine Croatto who was at the scene said, “Due to the overcrowded environment, the animals were living in extremely poor conditions and their welfare was compromised as a result. As such we have removed the animals due to a lack of basic care and medical attention. This situation has unfortunately affected the welfare of these animals, as well as, the welfare of the occupants of the household.”
Senior Inspector Croatto followed on, “The owner of the household was cooperative with RSPCA ACT Inspectors. In this case, the owner had amassed a large number of animals and was simply overwhelmed with the situation of caring for these creatures.”
Over the last year RSPCA ACT Inspectors have seen five other cases where Inspectors have removed ninety or more animals from a single premise here in Canberra. Although the term ‘hoarding’ is commonly used, it is important to remember that there are a number of reasons why individuals might own large quantities of animals. Examples include having a missionary zeal to save all animals, collecting animals like objects and breeding animals purely for financial gain.
“Whatever the reason, keeping large numbers of animals in inappropriate, inadequate and over-crowded conditions can cause starvation, disease, psychological and physical problems, or even death. As a result, it is a challenging situation for all involved.” said Senior Inspector Croatto.
RSPCA ACT works closely with local Government organisations, community groups and members of the public to investigate all forms of animal cruelty including neglect. We would like to encourage members of the public to continue to come forward if they notice anything like this in the Canberra community.
RSPCA ACT CEO Tammy Ven Dange reiterated, “Not all cases lead to prosecution. Sometimes, the owners just need a bit of help, and sometimes that means surrendering the animals to us to care for and to eventually rehome.”