The RSPCA in New South Wales has released footage of the rescue of dozens of dogs from a breeder. The 31 "Koolie" dogs were kept on a property in Gunnedah along with dozens of others by breeder Leith Gatenby.
Koolie dogs are an Australian breed of working dog. Many of the animals discovered by the inspectors needed veterinary attention after being kept in squalid conditions in tiny cages.
The dogs were found emaciated with fleas, infections and parasites, as well as rotten teeth. One female dog had to be put down, as her health issues were so severe that the veterinarians "deemed it cruel for her to be kept alive".
RSPCA NSW deputy chief inspector Scott Meyers said: "The squalid conditions these dogs were forced to live in screams of Gatenby's inability to care for all 73 dogs.
"There were cages stacked upon cages, some with doors rusted shut it had been that long since they'd been opened. As an inspector, you never get used to seeing this level of hoarding and neglect."
Gatenby, 62, pleaded guilty to nine counts of animal cruelty in Gunnedah Local Court on Tuesday 8 August. Gatenby was fined $4,400 and $130,647 and has been banned from owning more than five desexed dogs.
She was ordered to surrender or rehome remaining dogs in her care within 28 days. The RSPCA stated it continues to inspect the property to ensure the remaining dogs' welfare.