Woman gets off lightly for animal cruelty

2015-10-05 10:20
A juvenile Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a skin condition also suffers from a hookworm infestation.

A juvenile Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a skin condition also suffers from a hookworm infestation. (Kloof and Highway SPCA )

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Pietermaritzburg - A Durban woman previously charged with animal cruelty by Kloof SPCA, was sentenced last week to a R1 000 fine on charges of animal cruelty.

The sentence, termed “light and disappointing” by Durban SPCA, follows a long history of legal battles to enforce stricter rules and harsher sentences on people who hoard and neglect their animals.

The charges against Durban local, Dianne Ritchie-Ingram, laid by the Durban and Coastal SPCA follow another charge laid against her and sentence for animal neglect made late last year by the Kloof and Highway SPCA.

Last year, the Kloof and Highway SPCA found 17 dogs, four cats, and an array of other animals, wild and domestic, living in dirty and parasitic conditions. This was after another charge of animal cruelty in late 2012, and early 2013 for animal cruelty while she lived in Drummond.

The SPCA found the animals at her home in Escombe, Queensburgh last year without water and a multitude of external and internal parasitic infestations.

Ritchie-Ingram appeared on Carte Blanche in early 2014 for hoarding animals and animal neglect.

“Earlier in March this year Ritchie-Ingram pleaded guilty to seven counts of animal cruelty in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court,” said Kloof and Highway SPCA manager Barbara Patrick.

“She received a fine of R3 000 per count, half of which was suspended for three years subject to her not being found guilty of the same offence.

“She was also found unfit to possess or be in charge of any animal for a period of 10 years.”

Last Monday she appeared in the Durban Regional Court for animal cruelty.

Durban SPCA spokesperson Lindsey Fogarty said they had taken seven cases to court in the last six months.

“Of these seven, we have had two convictions. The other five are still pending.

“Depending on the magistrate for specific cases sometimes very lenient sentences are handed down,” said Fogarty.

In 2013, a KZN veterinary surgeon living in Howick at the time, was charged with animal cruelty over the neglect of her six dogs and cat.

Louise Powell’s animals were confiscated by the SPCA after they were found to be living in terrible conditions unfit for any animal. The Umgeni SPCA laid criminal charges against Powell after they seized five Yorkshire Terriers, a Japanese Chin dog, and a cat, from a vacant property in Merrivale in April 2014.

It was alleged the dogs were living in small cages locked inside a dingy outbuilding on the smallholding.

Umgeni SPCA manager Dudu Abrahams said the dogs were in an extremely poor condition and shortly after the dogs were rescued, a yorkie the SPCA had adopted called Teaspoon died. The cat also died of alleged renal failure.

Read more on:    spca  |  pietermaritzburg  |  animal cruelty  |  animals

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