CATS ONLY: a Gympie woman will be allowed to keep her cats but not her dogs after neglect case
CATS ONLY: a Gympie woman will be allowed to keep her cats but not her dogs after neglect case

No dogs: woman leaves pets flea-ridden, wallowing in faeces

A DESPERATE Gympie woman yesterday thanked the RSPCA for saving her dogs from the appalling neglect they suffered in her care.

Speaking by video link from prison, Clare Snow, 36, of Southside (pictured), pleaded guilty to breaching a duty of care to her two dogs, found by RSPCA inspectors living in "putrid" conditions amid faeces and with serious flea infestations and weeping ear infections on multiple occasions between September 2 last year and November 11.

She also told the court of her extreme health issues and other problems which had resulted in her being in jail for some of the period covered by the charges.

An RSPCA inspector told the court the two dogs suffered fur loss and cracked skin from serious flea infestations and had brown waxy discharge from ear infections.

One had worn teeth from biting itself in response to its flea problems.

The dogs were treated by the RSPCA and later re-homed.

Two cats also the subject of a neglect charge had been de-sexed and re-homed with one of Snow's friends, so Snow could get them back.

Snow held her face in her hands and wept as the RSPCA successfully asked for her to be banned from having a dog.

The RSPCA representative said the boarding cost for the two dogs was $3750.36, but she said that in the circumstances, if Snow could not pay the money the organisation would not press for compensation for that cost.

But vet costs had amounted to another $2034.08," she said.

Snow told the court that on November 11 she was in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest and soon afterwards had been jailed.

On Wednesday, when another visit had occurred, Snow said she had been in jail for 10 days.

The inspector said the two dogs and two cats had been confined in Snow's house on that occasion.

Snow said she was in personal difficulties.

"I can't say much more," she said.

"I'm just so grateful to the RSPCA."

Snow said she had thought the dogs were in care with friends and would be looked after."

Magistrate Chris Callaghan told Snow he could see she was remorseful.

"The trouble is you were given chances to get the dogs cleaned up.

"I accept that you were unable to, but you could have told the RSPCA," he said.

He fined her $3000, half to go to the RSPCA, with no conviction recorded and ordered her to pay vet fees.