RSPCA lashes out at court
LYNNE Jane Hudson locked her pet cat Prince in a cage for two weeks and left it to starve to death.
She was handed a $400 fine in Rockhampton Magistrates Court but no conviction was recorded.
RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty blasted the sentence, calling it paltry.
He said the magistrate should have followed the lead of Chief Magistrate Marshall Irwin who sentenced a Mt Isa man to four months' imprisonment for a similar offence last week.
The maximum penalty for the offence is a $21,000 fine or a year's imprisonment.
RSPCA CQ Inspector Shayne Towers-Hammond said when he found Prince, an adult ginger male cat, at the Harbourne Street home it was so close to death maggots were living in its eyes.
"I thought it was dead at first until I checked its vitals and found out that it was alive and rushed it to a vet,'' he said.
After examination, Prince was put down out of compassion. Mr Towers Hammond said he was disgusted by the cat's treatment.
"It would have been in this state for a few days ... people had the opportunity to look after this animal and it didn't happen.