Five cats, 20 rats in home littered with faeces, rubbish
A woman "hoarding" pets at her Caboolture home relied on them while coping with mounting personal pressures, a court has heard.
Twenty-four-year-old Tayla Teece was already subject to a five-year animal ownership prohibition order when RSPCA inspectors found five cats and about 20 living in filthy conditions in her care.
The court heard she had been given the prohibition order in August 2019 which prevented her owning animals other than once cat and a few rats as approved by the RSPCA.
However four months later inspectors found her with a number of pets in a pungent home littered with cat faeces and rubbish.
The court heard one rat had an abscess on its back and others were suffering from flu symptoms and had to be euthanised.
An RSPCA prosecutor as Teece had a tendency to "hoard" pets, however it was acknowledged there had been no medical diagnosis to support this claim.
Meanwhile, the court heard Teece - who was a carer for her increasingly ill mother - had been under immense strain at home and depended on her pets.
"With mum being as sick as she is, I did rely on the animals," Teece said.
She said she had struggled to care for both her mother and her animals.
"I guess everything was just stacking up on me," she said.
"I know that I cannot handle the animals."
While Teece said she did not oppose a lifetime prohibition order being sought by the prosecution, Magistrate Robert Walker said it was an extremely long time for such a young woman whose circumstances could change in years to come.
"It's a long time," Magistrate Walker said.
Teece pleaded guilty to one count of contravening a prohibition order and one count of failing to provide appropriate treatment for disease or injury and one count of failing to provide appropriate living conditions.
She was placed on a 12-month probation order which would provide her with access to support services, ordered to pay $2059.64 in costs and given a 10-year prohibition order which excluded the ownership of one fish. No convictions were recorded.
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Originally published as Five cats, 20 rats in home littered with faeces, rubbish