RSPCA Victoria negotiates surrender of 67 cats; links to illegal breeding suspected

Published on 10 August 2023

RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate has executed a warrant and negotiated the surrender of 67 cats and kittens from a residential property in the Hume City Council area after concerns were raised by neighbours.

Based on information provided by the community Inspectors expected to find approximately 12 cats in poor living conditions, however upon executing the warrant it became clear the situation was much worse.

“We were originally alerted to this property after neighbours raised concerns regarding the smell coming from the house and the number of cats seen through the windows,” RSPCA Victoria Team Leader for North West Region, Karen Collier said.

“Upon arrival the ammonia levels from cat urine in the house were 25ppm*, it was so strong it was stinging our eyes and noses.

“The house was covered in cat faeces, with rubbish piled throughout the house, including a number of deceased animals.

“It’s one of the worst examples of unsanitary conditions we’ve seen with many of the 67 animals suffering health conditions ranging from emaciation, ear infections, ringworm and panleukopenia virus.

“It’s an incredibly sad situation where the person in charge of these cats was unable to provide a clean and sanitary environment including providing adequate food, water, and veterinary care.”

Investigations into this incident are ongoing, however investigators suspect that these cats may be linked to an illegal breeding operation.

The animals are now receiving treatment and care while RSPCA Victoria investigates further.

It’s an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTAA) to load, crowd or confine an animal in a manner where the loading, crowding or confinement causes or is likely to cause pain or suffering to the animal. Anyone found guilty of such an act can face fines of up to $48,077.50 or 12 months imprisonment.

Anyone with concerns for the welfare of an animal, aware of illegal breeding, or suspicious animal sales is encouraged to contact RSPCA Victoria on 03 9224 2222 or submit a report at rspcavic.org/cruelty-report/ immediately. Information can be provided anonymously.

 

*Upon entering property, if the gas concentration measurement is between 25-35ppm it is mandatory to wear PPE, and an exposure limit of 30 minutes before departure from the area is required.

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