Decision Maker Response
RSPCA NSW’s response
Feb 15, 2017 — RSPCA NSW has been aware of Keith Climpson’s change.org petition “Tell the RSPCA NSW that this is Cruel” for some time. We know the conditions at “Camp Kitty” were cruel, and that’s exactly why we prosecuted Mr Richard McCudden in 2016, resulting in a criminal conviction, positive welfare outcomes and court-imposed limitations on the number of cats he was allowed to keep.
The photographs and correspondence on Keith Climpson’s change.org petition are 18 months – 2 years old, and pre-date the lengthy and costly court process the RSPCA undertook.
The matter was finalised in Cowra Local Court on 15 December 2016. The magistrate found Mr McCudden guilty under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and he was sentenced. Despite the RSPCA seeking a total prohibition order and custody of the cats it had seized, the magistrate merely limited Mr. McCudden from owning more than 33 cats. His sentence also involved strict veterinary conditions, a Good Behaviour Bond and more than $180,000 in costs.
RSPCA inspectors monitor the remaining cats regularly. Our very recent inspection revealed there are only four cats in total on the property – all in good health, with permanent structures in the enclosure allowing constant access to water and shelter, and constant access to food with a full time caretaker living on the property. As detailed above, the photographs on the change.org petition are outdated and in no way resemble the current welfare status on the property.
Whilst we understand Mr Climpson is upset at and frustrated by the Court’s decision, RSPCA NSW has fulfilled its obligations in putting the matter and all admissible information before the Court. We are also fulfilling our ongoing welfare obligations by closely monitoring any remaining cats on the property.
We have attempted to have rational conversations with Mr Climpson on the facts of this situation, with little to no success. We don’t propose to continue to engage in a debate with him about events of long ago which have been overtaken by RSPCA NSW enforcement action and the subsequent court process.
RSPCA NSW takes reports of animal cruelty very seriously and investigates accordingly. Where evidence allows, RSPCA NSW prosecutes cases of animal cruelty through the court systems, such as the case of Mr McCudden.