Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17623
Classification: Drowning
Animal: cat
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Animal was offleash or loose
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Defense(s): Turitea Bolstad
Judge(s): Allan Roberts

Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Phillip Raymond Hall

A Waitara man who killed at least four feral cats and used his backyard as a feline cemetery has been banned from owning an animal for five years.

Phillip Raymond Hall, a Waitara process worker, appeared in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday and admitted four charges of animal cruelty.

Hall's "hobby" was detected after a friend saw him kill a cat and asked him whether he had done it before, to which he replied "heaps".

On different occasions Hall, 41, used a wood and wire trap to catch the cats, then put them into a sack and immersed them in a rubbish bin full of water until they drowned.

The court heard how the friend reported Hall to the SPCA, who investigated the allegations.

The organisation dug up Hall's backyard and discovered seven feline bodies in varying degrees of decomposition. Another two cats were found nearby.

Hall showed the SPCA where the traps were and said he lived in a problem area for stray cats which had reached "epidemic level".

He said of the cats he trapped, he set the healthy ones free on farmland but killed the sick or dying ones.

Defence counsel Turitea Bolstad said Hall was not killing domesticated pets, but feral cats which Hall said ran rampant in his neighbourhood.

She said Hall had contacted the SPCA several times asking them to help with the cat problem.

Judge Roberts agreed feral cats were a nuisance and Hall had been involved in the deaths of at least four.

Hall was sentenced to 275 hours' community work.


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