A thin dog is among the animals found without food or water on an Island Plantation property.
A thin dog is among the animals found without food or water on an Island Plantation property.

Animal problem too big for RSPCA

THE RSPCA says it cannot do anything about hundreds of animals that have been found living in disgusting conditions at a Maryborough property – because the situation is out of their league.

During a search on Wednesday Inspector Patrick Yates found pigs, sheep, dogs, turkeys, chickens and guinea fowls locked in cages – or just running free – without food or water on the Island Plantation property.

He was powerless to take immediate action, however, because it was “above what the RSPCA can handle”.

“We’ve been on to the property and at this stage, because of the scale and because it involves livestock, we have directly referred the investigation to the Department of Primary Industries,” he said.

“Obviously we do have concerns for the animals.

“We’ve ensured everything now has access to water and now the investigation will be carried out by the DPI.”

Robyn Sheppard, the Maryborough woman who reported the situation to the RSPCA on Tuesday, said she did not believe the owner of the house, a single elderly woman, had the means to care for all the animals.

“We were delivering phone books when we came across the house on Monday,” she said.

“I was disgusted when I saw the sick, starving animals everywhere so I rang the RSPCA and said I wasn’t leaving until they came out here and had a look.”

True to her word, Ms Hailey waited outside the house with her daughter until sunset on Monday and again yesterday until Mr Yates showed.

In that time she said she saw pigs, dogs and chickens without access to water or food and persistently encouraged the owner of the house to provide them with nourishment.

“There’s just too many animals here. There’s no way in the world there should be so many here.”

Mr Yates, based in Bundaberg, said he was unable to find any animals that needed immediate medical treatment.

“I’ve checked all the animals and I’ve done what I can do.”

A spokesperson from Biosecurity Queensland said they would be working with the RSPCA to respond to an animal welfare complaint.

“The immediate issues concerning the care of the animals have been addressed and Biosecurity Queensland will continue to monitor the situation over the next few days.”

The owner of the house did not wish to comment yesterday.

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