GRAPHIC IMAGES: Woman fined for emaciated dogs
"YOU had the best of intentions … but animals are easy to love, but are not so easy to look after."
Those were the words of Magistrate Andrew Moloney as he sentenced Thryphenia Maree Allen after she pleaded guilty to 29 offences in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Allen was charged with multiple offences including failing to provide appropriate living conditions and failing to provide appropriate food and water.
RSPCA prosecutor Nicole McEldowney told the court on October 10 last year, the RSPCA received a complaint about the animals at Allen's home.
At the time she was the owner of seven dogs, six cats, as well as chickens and ducks.
The informant said there was a dead animal smell coming from the home and the dogs were skinny and tied up.
On October 11 the RSPCA inspector went to Allen's home where they saw the seven dogs in poor physical condition.
Five of them were tethered and the other two were in elevated cages, they all had access to water.
Some of the dogs had no bedding or enrichment.
At the back there was an aviary with six cats in it.
Allen told the inspector that she had caught the cats the night before.
There was no food, water or bedding in the enclosure.
The court heard in an interview with the RSPCA inspector, Allen said she was an animal hoarder and had become overwhelmed.
She said the dogs were working dogs and were used for pig hunting.
Allen was given an animal welfare direction for the animals that remained on the property.
Four of the dogs and the cats were surrendered to the RSPCA, as well as some chickens and ducks.
The court heard when the animals were inspected by a vet, all four of the dogs were emaciated and tested positive for hookworm.
They also had poor coat and nail conditions.
The cats had body conditions ranging between one and four (one being emaciated and nine being obese).
Later that month the RSPCA inspector went to the property to conduct a compliance check and saw the three remaining dogs were not on tethers and the elevated cages had been filled with scrap.
Ms McEldowney said Allen was complying with the welfare direction from the RSPCA and that she was remorseful for her actions.
Allen, who represented herself in the courtroom, accepted that what she had done was wrong and that she had learnt her lesson.
She said she was going through a difficult period at the time and felt better after some of the animals were taken.
Magistrate Andrew Moloney took into account Allen's plea of guilty and her personal circumstances.
He also took into account the dogs were in a "frightful state".
Mr Moloney also took into account that Allen was complying with the welfare direction.
Allen was fined $1000 with a 50 per cent moiety to the RSPCA and was given a 10-year prohibition order.
She was also ordered to pay a total of $1860.76 in vet bills and legal costs.
A conviction was not recorded.