A serial puppy farmer who made more than $180,000 a year raising dogs in the most horrific living conditions has been convicted.
Kathryn Lisa King, 51, from Bullsbrook in northern Perth, stood before the Perth Magistrates Court charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty over her illegal dog breeding business.
Most of the animals were highly sought after breeds and were raised in squalid conditions on properties that served as squalid dog farms.
These dogs were bred by King and sold at exorbitant prices solely to make money.
The RSPCA believe King made at least $180,000 a year in profits, which they said was a “conservative” estimate.
A dog farmer has been convicted of animal cruelty after authorities discovered more than 30 dogs and puppies living in appalling conditions on her property
In an effort to thwart local authorities’ suspicions, King went so far as to move the dogs between three different homes.
But one member of the public became skeptical of her surgeries after King refused to let them come to her house to see a puppy she had advertised on Gumtree.
The dog farmer was reported and the WA branch of the RSPCA launched an investigation.
It led to authorities discovering 32 dogs, including four adult males, 19 adult females and nine puppies, at her properties in June 2020.
These dogs were sick and showed signs of serious health problems, including heart disease, respiratory problems, skeletal problems and skin allergies.
They were also malnourished, underweight and unkempt.
King’s dogs all lived in unsanitary, dirty and cramped conditions.
Many were kept in cages, some built for smaller animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, or rooms covered in urine and faces.
These cages were found on multiple floors at all three of her properties.
Four puppies were squeezed into a single cardboard box with no food or water left uncovered at one of the addresses.
Five of the dogs were pregnant at the time. They gave birth to 22 puppies in the weeks following their attack.
Two of the dogs and their puppies subsequently died, while the remaining dogs remain in foster homes.
Many dogs were kept in cages with four puppies crammed into a single cardboard box with no food or water
The RSPCA launched an investigation and seized all 32 dogs and puppies from King’s properties. The organization has implored prospective dog owners to consider adoption or conduct extensive research before purchasing a pet
King was convicted and given a 10-month suspended sentence of 18 months, a $25,000 fine and an 18-month intensive supervision order.
She was also ordered to pay legal fees of $24,279 and medical and treatment costs of $18,241.
King was previously convicted in 2000, 2004 and 2014 of a range of offenses including animal cruelty, fraud, obstructing an inspector and violating an animal ban.
She was last convicted of animal cruelty in 2014 when the RSCPA found 50 dogs at her home. A dozen of these dogs were kept in an underground bunker.
The RSPCA WA executive manager of animal and enforcement operations, Hannah Dreaver, said King’s actions were “a case of greed, pure and simple.”
“This woman bred large numbers of dogs without any concern for their welfare, health or safety,” she said.
“They were all popular varieties that sold for thousands of dollars. These dogs made her a fortune and she treated them like nothing more than money-making machines, litter after litter without proper care.’
The RSPCA has implored prospective dog owners to consider adoption or conduct extensive research before purchasing a pet.