HEARING BEGINS: Happy Paws Haven's Sally Rogers was in Grafton Local Court over three charges stemming from a 2017 raid on her Eatonsville property.
HEARING BEGINS: Happy Paws Haven's Sally Rogers was in Grafton Local Court over three charges stemming from a 2017 raid on her Eatonsville property.

Happy Paws Haven animal welfare hearing begins

THE animal welfare hearing into Happy Paws Haven founder Sally Ann Rogers has gone part heard in Grafton Local Court, with one witness giving evidence before the matter was adjourned.

Ms Rogers has pleaded not guilty to two charges of being in charge of an animal and fail to provide vet treatment and being in charge of an animal and fail to exercise control.

The Happy Paws Haven pet sanctuary at Eatonsville was the subject of a raid by RSPCA inspectors on July 31, 2017, after a formal complaint about a concern for animal welfare.

At the inspection was RSPCA veterinarian Dr Ann Withers, who gave evidence at the hearing in relation to the health of 32 cats she examined on that day.

During questioning from the RSPCA prosecutor, Dr Withers testified that two of the cats examined, tagged cat 3363 and cat 3365, required immediate veterinarian attention due to their low body score condition and high grade of dental disease.

Dr Withers said cat 3363 also had a nasal pus discharge which would have been obvious to those without medical training, which was a marker of poor health and would warrant investigation and treatment.

Dr Withers testified both cats had signs of dental disease, which would have been extremely painful and required immediate pain medication and antibiotics, as well as teeth extraction in the long term.

She said another cat tagged 9799 had a black discharge in its ear as a result of inflammation and a yeast infection.

During cross examination, Ms Rogers' defence barrister Ben Cochrane asked if medication or pain relief could have been provided to the cats without any obvious external signs present.

Dr Withers said the only way to be sure a cat had been administered pain relief was if a person had given it to the cat themselves, but symptoms of pain included chattering teeth and a reluctance to eat.

When asked about antibiotics, Dr Withers said it was possible for a cat to be given antibiotics but still present some symptoms of infection if the antibiotic hadn't taken effect or fully treated the infection.

However when asked about an ear infection, Dr Withers said there would be obvious signs a cat had been given treatment, including an oily head as a result of shaking the head after application.

Dr Withers also said there would have been obvious signs of cleaning away any black discharge, which would have been performed by a vet.

The matter will continue on June 25.