Aussie Woman JAILED For “Worst Hoarder Conditions” Ever Seen
A woman has been sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to 19 charges of animal cruelty in the "worst hoarder conditions" the RSPCA had ever seen.
Valerie Hicks, a 69-year-old from NSW, was found to have 43 cats and 31 dogs in her home in the Northern Tablelands last May, in conditions so appalling that animal welfare officers required breathing apparatus in order to enter.
Magistrate Michael Holmes sentenced Hicks to one month in prison, handed down a $19,000 fine and banned her from owning more than one dog for the next five years.
RSPCA NSW Inspector Alistair Hills told the court: "I've been an RSPCA inspector for 14 years and seen some horrific abuse and confronting hoarder cases.
"But this is the worst conditions I've ever seen animals forced to live in."
All 43 cats were euthanised by the RSPCA due to severe psychological damage, while several of the dogs also had to be put down.
Others, after substantial rehabilitation, were found new homes.
Hicks had 83 previous animal cruelty charges, of which she was convicted in Queensland in 2008.