Big fines in animal cruelty case

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A man charged with animal cruelty offences has failed to appear in court.

Alex Cranebrook of Jamisontown was scheduled to appear in court last Thursday in relation to four charges of animal cruelty towards 19 animals.

However, he failed to attend.

In his absence, Mr Cranebrook was convicted and found guilty of all charges of failing to provide veterinary treatment and proper and sufficient food for his nineteen cats and dogs.

In October last year, RSPCA Inspectors visited a property in Bringelly in response to a complaint. Dog and cat pens were found caked with faeces, kitty litter trays were full to the brim, some pens had no water and the animals were displaying behavior indicative of being housed permanently in cages.

RSPCA Inspectors issued instructions to clean up immediately and provided the Codes of Practice for Breeding Dogs and Cats to be followed up on.

After some further inspections, the animals were relocated by Mr Cranebrook and on November 10 last year, no animals remained at the property.

In February this year, RSPCA Inspectors located Mr Cranebrook and his animals at a property in Jamisontown. They found 16 dogs and 3 cats to be in very poor body condition. All of these animals were seized and taken for veterinary examination.

The Veterinarian established that 14 of the animals were underweight. Nine of the dogs had inflammation and infection in the ear. Two female cats had abscesses on their heads. One of the cats died and one of the younger dogs was very weak and anemic.

Each of the animals gained between 29% and 120% of their presenting weights after treatment and food.

Mr Cranebrook was convicted of all four charges and fined $800 for each offence (total $3,200). The RSPCA was awarded $1,600 of these fines. He was ordered to pay the RSPCA $27,526.02 animal care costs and $9,900 in professional costs (total fines and costs $40,626.02).

Mr Cranebrook was also prohibited from owning any animal for three years.

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