Puppies clubbed to death



THE RSPCA is investigating a Gracemere couple who are alleged to have bludgeoned six puppies to death with a hammer.

"This is one of the most disturbing things I have seen,'' RSPCA Central Queensland inspector Shayne Towers-Hammond said after raiding their house yesterday afternoon.

Mr Towers-Hammond is close to finalising the puppy torture investigation and was forced to search the Gracemere property again after further complaints of animal cruelty surfaced against the pair.

These involved duty of care concerns including starving farmyard animals.

While no charges have been laid at this stage, Mr Towers-Hammond hopes to have the RSPCA's case completed within a week.

The couple face fines of $75,000 and two years' imprisonment if found guilty of animal cruelty.

He said another person was still to be interviewed before charges were laid.

The puppies were all cattle dog crosses.

"We had more complaints made about the owners,'' Mr Towers-Hammond said.

"To find someone prepared to do this and with what those puppies had to endure, nothing surprises me any more.''

This sickening case is just one keeping the inspector busy.

The last couple of weeks have been Mr Towers-Hammond's busiest during four years in the job.

Other cases in recent days include:

n A starved dog that had between 1000 and 2000 ticks on its body in Rockhampton;

n Another sickening case of tick infestation, this time in North Rockhampton, where a dog's body was "covered'' in parasites;

n A spike in the number of animal abandonments, particularly cats and dogs; and

n Putting down a Brahman cow that was badly hurt in a head-on crash with a car. The driver escaped injury.

"It has been really busy, all of a sudden,'' Mr TowersHammond said.

"We are getting between five and 10 reports a day.



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