Man jailed over tortured tortoises after one of the animals crawled off balcony, hit child in the head
A TORTOISE hoarder whose pet crawled off a balcony and struck a child on the head has been jailed for eight months after more than 50 shelled animals were found in cruel conditions.
Jerry Goo, 38, was convicted of 17 animal cruelty charges yesterday following a joint investigation by the RSPCA and the Office of Environment and Heritage.
The animal welfare authorities began investigating Goo after a dozen turtles were found dead on the ground floor of his Liberty Grove unit block in July last year.
One of these turtles had been seen “falling from the sky” and hit a young boy on the head. A notice had been placed in the lift about turtles being “thrown” off a balcony.
When Mr Goo’s unit was raided on July 9 49 turtles, seven kept in a bucket of dirty water and 32 in a makeshift pen of cardboard and wood with no food or water, were rescued.
Several of turtles rescued died or were euthanised due to their poor health.
Goo said he did not realise the turtles had been falling off his balcony. He claimed he had received the animals from a friend a week earlier.
“I saw a notice in the lift about turtles being thrown of the balcony. At first I didn’t know it was me, then I thought who else is gonna have turtles that have fallen off, so I guessed it was written to me,” he said in court documents tendered to Burwood Local Court.
A vet said some of the turtles she tried to save had been through an agonising ordeal.
“These animals would have been suffering from dehydration, and possibly starvation as they did not have access water and therefore could not eat,” she said.
He will be eligible for parole in five months and was ordered to pay $875 in vet costs. The court also banned him from owning a pet for 10 years because he had previously been convicted of animal cruelty.