RSPCA on hunt for NZ animal abuser

·1-min read

A breeder convicted of a string of animal abuse offences, including operating squalid puppy farms in South Australia, could be extradited from New Zealand.

The RSPCA is investigating the possible extradition of the woman, after a magistrate found her guilty of 33 offences involving 27 dogs held in filthy conditions, and five horses that were starved.

She is at the centre of one of the longest-running animal welfare cases in South Australia but the RSPCA says she can't be sentenced, or held liable for the cost of caring for her seized animals, unless she returns to Australia.

There is a warrant out for her arrest should she set foot in the country again but the RSPCA is also investigating options for her forced return.

The woman has failed to show up for the last four of the 37 court appearances relating to the case, including a sentencing hearing last month and another hearing last week over RSPCA's animal care costs.

"It's deeply concerning that ... (she) chose not to attend court to finalise the judicial process in this very serious matter, and appears instead now to be living in New Zealand," RSPCA South Australia Chief Inspector Andrea Lewis said on Sunday.

"Nonetheless, the magistrate's verdict in this milestone case exemplifies what are - and aren't - acceptable living conditions for animals.

"We hope this case serves as a disincentive for anyone who might be thinking of generating income by breeding puppies without regard for their welfare and current legislative requirements."

The offences happened on the woman's property at Baroota, near Port Pirie north of Adelaide.