Frederick Dart & Megan Ann Hajridin 113 dogs, 488 rates, 73 mice & guinea pigs & birds seized Townsville, Queensland, Australia July 31, 2008
Frederick Dart & Megan Ann Hajridin 2 puppies, 37 dogs, 400+ rodents seized Townsville, Queensland, Australia December 24, 2008

A decision on RSPCA Queensland's largest ever animal seizure will be handed down in the Townsville Magistrates Court soon.

Frederick Dart and Megan Ann Hajridin pleaded guilty on December 4 to 131 charges of breaching their duty of care for animals.

Inspectors seized 113 dogs, a cat, 488 rats, 73 mice and several guinea pigs and birds from the couple at their property south of Townsville on July 31.

Inspectors also discovered a large upright freezer full of frozen carcasses of puppies, guinea pigs, rats and fowls.

The RSPCA described to the court how the animals were kept in small transport cages piled on top of each other in the defendants' shed.

They also said many of the dogs had little to no water, required veterinary treatment and had fur matted with faeces and urine.

The RSPCA presented evidence to the court that the defendants were selling puppies online.

The RSPCA has made an application to the court for a disposal order in relation to the dogs, a prohibition order to prohibit the defendants from owning or trading in animals for two years and an order in relation to dogs.

Magistrate Brian Smith will hand down the decision.

Update 12/31/08:  Two puppy farmers face new charges relating to their animals less than a month after they were hit with fines of more than $80,000 after a raid found dogs living in appalling conditions.

Frederick Dart and Megan Ann Hajridin pleaded guilty on December 4 to 131 charges of breaching their duty of care for animals.

Dart and Hajridin were ordered to pay a fine of $12,500 each and ordered to pay $57,161 in legal costs to the RSPCA.

Magistrate Brian Smith also banned the couple from owning pets for a commercial purpose for two years, and subjected their property to random RSPCA raids.

On December 24, Hajridin was charged with contravening the prohibition order when RSPCA inspectors seized two puppies from her after she allegedly tried to sell them.

Then RSPCA officers seized 37 dogs and more than four hundred rodents from Hajridin and Dart's property in a random inspection.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the pair would be charged under the Animal Care and Protection Act.

RSPCA Qld chief inspector Michael Pecic said it appeared Dart and Hajridin were thumbing their noses at the magistrate.  "It's very, very disappointing," he said.

"Our Townsville shelter staff worked for several days to sex the rodents and separate them to try and prevent further breeding.  "Our staff and volunteers are already exhausted because of the Christmas influx."

Hajridin will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on January 13 in relation to her charge from December 24.

Update 1/7/09: A Townsville dog-breeding couple were charged with further animal cruelty offences less than one month after being fined $25,000 for offences carried out on their property.

Frederick Dart and Megan Hajridin each face three charges: two of duty of care; and one of contravening a prohibition order following a December 30 raid in which 37 dogs, 567 rats and 272 mice were seized.

On December 12, the couple were sentenced to two years' probation and fined a combined $25,000 plus $60,000 in costs after being convicted of 131 charges under the Animal Care and Protection Act.

The couple were also prohibited from trading in dogs or rats for two years.

Mr Pecic said it appeared from a December 30 raid on their Calcium property that Dart and Hajridin had broken the order.

"This would appear to be the second time in less than a month that the prohibition order has been breached," he said.

The first conviction against the pair stemmed from a raid in July 2008 in which inspectors seized more than 500 animals, including animal carcasses that were found in a freezer.


Brisbane Times