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13 January, 2020

Mareeba near top of RSPCA’s shame list

Mareeba near top of RSPCA’s shame list

By Phil Brandel

Mareeba has come second on the list of the most complaints recorded by the RSPCA in 2019. Mareeba recorded forty animal cruelty or neglect complaints in 2019.

The number of complaints across the whole far north region dropped from 977 complaints in 2018 to 889 in 2019.

Mareeba came second only to Gordonvale, with 44 registered complaints against the Cairns suburb.

Far North RSPCA Inspector Ben Newman said that “Over the past 12 months a large percentage of our prosecutions have come from the Mareeba area, but we have been prosecuting all over the Far North region. A lot of our complaints seem to come from areas with dense social housing. ”

Atherton also made the top 5 of the RSPCA’s name and shame list with 30 registered complaints. Inspector Newman said “most of the complaints on the Tablelands dealt with duty of care for dogs, this includes dogs that live their life on a chain, poor living conditions, lack of food, water and untreated disease.”

“75 per cent of the time animal negligence came down to money with owners happy to let their pet die naturally rather than seek treatment.” The RSPCA also deals with livestock issues, but only up to 10 head of animals, anything above 10 heads “is dealt with by Bio-Security Queensland.”

In September 2019 Mareeba’s Gerald Benard Hobbler, 26, was convicted of two breaches of the Animal Care and Protection Act after an RSPCA inspector saw how he had neglected his four-year-old Mastiff, Bundy.

The RSPCA received a tip that Bundy had been tethered with a tight chain around his neck. Upon a closer look, the inspector saw the dog’s neck had been eaten away by the chain.

Bundy had a tight chain around neck for so long it became embedded in an open wound

An interview with Hobbler revealed Bundy’s state of neglect - he was not given a bed because he had chewed one as a puppy, and had been on the chain for three years.

“He has never exercised Bundy as he would run away ... he does not let him off the chain as he has tried to run away too many times,”

“Sadly he was later deemed unsuitable for rehoming,” an RSPCA spokesman said. Gerald Hobbler was sentenced to three months imprisonment, to be wholly suspended and was prohibited from owning any dogs for five years and a conviction was recorded.

In January of 2019 Tammy-Ley Chong, 26, was ordered to complete 240 hours of community service after RSPCA inspectors found three emaciated and parasite-infested dogs at her Mareeba home.

Chong's dogs were found emaciated and parasite-infested

Chong admitted to investigators she "bit off more than she could chew and was struggling financially" due to her partner being in jail.

She said she “could not afford dog food and fed her dogs 30 pies each that she received for free.”

All three dogs improved in RSPCA care.


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