Author Topic: ‘Cruel’ cat lady: Brenda Joy Meredith, 58 of Wagga Wagga guilty of cruelty  (Read 693 times)

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 ‘Cruel’ cat lady given bond, ban

June 27, 2014,

A FORMER Taralga district woman has been banned from owning cats for five years following her conviction for animal cruelty.

Brenda Joy Meredith, 58, formerly of Laggan Rd and now of Wagga Wagga, pleaded guilty in Goulburn Local Court last Wednesday to the charges. She was charged with one count of animal
cruelty, eight of failing to provide medical treatment to the animals and one of failing to provide sufficient food.

RSPCA inspectors described the scene as “nauseating” and “cruel” when, acting on a complaint, they visited the property in February, 2013.

They arrived to find no one home but 10 long haired cats in a small cage in an open garage.

“They were matted and filthy, sneezing and snuffing, their eyes weeping and eyes fused shut with pus,” court facts stated.

The Persian and Himalayan cats had been forced to stand in “months’ worth of faeces, kitty litter trays were overflowing and water containers were green, slimy and contaminated with urine.

A further seven cats were found in cages at the back of the property, also kept in “disgusting, cruel conditions,” according to inspectors.

Dirt floors were covered in cardboard placed on top of stinking, wet faeces, which in turn was buried in a deep layer of animal waste.

“There was no area the cats could stand to avoid the squalor,” facts stated.

Inspectors said the animals couldn’t scratch themselves because large areas of their coats were heavily matted.

The cats were also suffering conjunctivitis, flea infestation, ear and eye infections, dental disease, ring worm, dermatitis and severe malnutrition. One had died.

Officers left contact details but returned the next day to find them in the same place.

They seized the animals, which were being used for breeding purposes, and treated them at the RSPCA’s Yagoona animal shelter. One was so matted it could hardly move, court facts stated.

Ms Meredith surrendered the cats to the RSPCA, after saying she didn’t see a problem with the way they had been housed. The animals were separated into breeding groups, with most of the
females pregnant. Ms Meredith admitted she didn’t know what she’d do with the kittens.

She had been working as a shearer’s cook and said her brother-in-law had been giving them food and water during the week but he wouldn’t touch litter trays. She told the RSPCA she had returned on weekends over the three-week period.

But inspectors believed faeces had accumulated over months.

Ms Meredith said they were valuable stud cats and did not belong to her.

The only micro-chipped animal was returned to the owner who was “horrified” by its condition, the RSPCA said.

The accused declined interview.

Last Wednesday she pleaded guilty to all eight charges. She was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond, ordered not to own or care for cats in the next five years and to continue taking medication and undergo counselling.

The RSPCA is seeking $3535 in mostly veterinary costs.

The organisation’s chief inspector, David O’Shanassy told the Post it was among the worst cases of the 15,000 reports the RSPCA received every year.

“It’s deeply concerning that these things are happening and we’d encourage anyone with information or suspicions of animal cruelty to report them because obviously, as in this case, there were significant animal welfare issues,” he said.

“This was someone looking to breed animals and with that goes an obligation to provide treatment when it is needed.”
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 01:07:55 PM by WA Export News »