A woman locked 14 cats up inside her squalid home for so long that they resorted to eating each other.
Disturbing footage shows animal rescue officers discovering the horrific, decomposing remains of cats strewn all over the house in Adelaide, Australia.
Amid the decaying bones and fur, only one small tabby had managed to cling on to life.
The woman, who reportedly has mental health issues, was convicted of animal cruelty and banned from keeping animals in Port Adelaide Magistrates Court.
Chief inspector Andrea Lewis said that when they arrived the surviving cat, later named Trooper by rescuers, was meowing urgently for them to open the door.
‘When RSPCA inspectors arrived at the property the one surviving cat, completely emaciated, was crying out for us to hurry up and open the door,’ she said.
Trooper was adopted into a new home earlier this year, and has since made a miraculous recovery.
‘You simply cannot abandon animals,’ Lewis said. ‘You have a legal responsibility for their wellbeing. It should never come to this.’
If you cannot care for your pets, she added, you should either ask friends, family or neighbours, or take them to an animal shelter.