The RSPCA has hit out at the lenient sentence given to an Adelaide woman who left 14 cats to starve, which reportedly caused the animals to eat each other.
In what's been described as one of the worst cases of animal cruelty the RSPCA has ever confronted, 13 cats were starved to death while another was found emaciated and clinging to life.
In court on Wednesday the owner, a 43-year-old woman, was banned from ever owning animals, fined a few hundred dollars and given a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Inspectors had been called to the Woodville West home, but nothing could prepare them for what they found inside.
The cats were so starved that they started to eat each other inside the locked home, The Daily Mail has reported.
"Just when you think 'Gee that’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen', then something like this comes up, it cuts to the bone," RSPCA inspector Andrea Lewis said.
"Without making judgements about people’s mental health, it's a difficult one for us, we’re always advocating for harsher penalties for animal cruelty and this was a particularly horrible case.
"It’s not okay to leave your animals, there's people out there that can help."
Thirteen cats were found dead in the putrid property that had faeces and rubbish in every room.
“So there’s only one cat alive,” a devastated RSPCA worker can be heard saying in a video of the property.
The survivor, later named Trooper, was found badly emaciated. He was nursed back to full health and has since been adopted by a new family.
The 43-year-old woman was convicted of aggravated animal cruelty, but her punishment has been described as "insufficient" by the RSPCA.