'Obsessed' breeder kept 110 dogs in 'putrid' conditions
A GLADSTONE woman who became "obsessed" with breeding dogs has fronted court after an RSPCA investigator discovered the "putrid" conditions of her River Ranch puppy farm.
Owner of Kupala Bull Terriers dog breeding business Sharon McAdam pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Wednesday to one charge of fail to provide appropriate living conditions and two charges of failing to provide appropriate treatment for injury.
Today the court was told on October 16, 2018 an RPSCA Inspector contacted McAdam following a tip from one of her customers that the dogs were living in poor conditions and not being treated for health conditions.
The customer had purchased a puppy from Mrs McAdam a month prior.
The customer took the puppy, named Murphy, to the vet on September 18 and it was discovered Murphy had several health issues.
The issues included tartar, mange all over body, inflamed skin and an eye infection.
An RSPCA investigation of the property on November 28 revealed McAdam had 110 dogs at the property; 102 of them she owned.
The court was told many of the dogs were living small cages, covered in urine and faeces, with little to no access to food and water, in rooms with little ventilation in a generally "putrid" environment.
The court was told there were dogs and puppies kept in a whelping room where the smell of ammonia and faeces was "overpowering".
Some of the cages were damaged with wires "poking out" and the court was told many cages were "hazardous" to the animals.
It was decided all animals were to be seized from the property the next day.
Most of the animals showed signs of distress and psychological issues, could not be walked on a lead and had to be carried to the van that would transport them from the property.
The court was told McAdam had operated the dog breeding business since 1985.
She imported dogs from overseas, bred more than 30 champions, and sold dogs and puppies as part of this business.
Over the past two years McAdam has bred at least 36 litters of puppies, resulting in at least 135 puppies.
About 100 of those puppies were sold for an average price of $1900 with an estimated income of $190,000.00.
Defence lawyer Ryan Mitchell said McAdam's dog breeding hobby turned into an "obsession".
He said McAdam slept only four hours each day to care for all the animals.
Mr Mitchell told the court McAdam and her husband started breeding and showing dogs 32 years ago.
Mr Mitchell said McAdam's husband withdrew from the business and the work "snowballed" for McAdam.
The court was told McAdam became "extremely selective" in choosing homes for the dogs and ended up with too many to care for.
Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale said it was clear McAdam loved her dogs.
The court was told although McAdam had been attending counselling, Ms Beckinsale said it was clear McAdam "had a long road to go".
"It's a shame it took things to get this bad before you continued to seek this help," she said.
A new prohibition order stated McAdam could own two dogs.
McAdam will be allowed to breed one litter per year and each puppy must be sold before three months.
McAdam was also ordered to pay $5500 in vet costs to RSPCA, $1000 in legal fees and $99 in administrative fees.
She was placed on a two-year probation order. A conviction was not recorded.