Woman starved cats

A woman faces big bills after her pets were taken away when the SPCA found them starving at her Hoon Hay house.

Wendy Lynette Carey, 53, will have to pay $2000 of the $6000 bill the SPCA has incurred looking after her two cats and two dogs after they were taken from her property in April.

Defence counsel Tony Greig said the woman "has some personal difficulties" and did not understand that the animals were being neglected.

Her income is from a benefit and she had had to borrow money for the bus fares to get across town from Hoon Hay for her appearance at the court in Aranui, he said.

She admitted four charges under the Animal Welfare Act, at the Christchurch District Court session today.

SPCA prosecutor Chris Shannon said the animals were found inside the house when no-one was home.

They were emaciated and had been severely underfed. They had been scratching to try to get out of the rooms where they were locked in.

The animals have now been taken away from Carey and Judge Gary MacAskill made an order disqualifying her from owning or having control of animals for five years.

He accepted she would be unable to pay the SPCA's full costs of $6000, but he ordered that she pay $2000 of the bill, as well as veterinary expenses of $326, and court costs and solicitor's fee.

The money will be taken from her benefit at $10 a week.

The Press