‘Dead goats and $100k damage’ at Traveston property
A COUPLE claim they uncovered dead goats and spent $100,000 in repairs after renting out their Sunshine Coast property to the former founder of disgraced charity Storybook Farm.
Jenny Theodore and her husband, who declined to be named, said they leased out the 10-acre Traveston property, complete with a five-bedroom home, to Lisa-Jayne Cameron and her two children from March 2011 to September 2012.
Ms Cameron had stated on her lease that she could have up to six dogs and two horses, but by the end of her lease, that had ballooned to about 40 grazing animals, plus two dogs.
She did not appear to be running the sanctuary at this point, the couple say.
Last week the Bulletin revealed that Storybook Farm Sacred Animal Garden, now based in north Brisbane, had been raided by the RSPCA, leading them to seize 37 neglected animals.
One dog, a dalmation called Barry, had raw ulcerations that vets deemed so painful he was put down the same day. One of the horses seized was also put down.
Ms Theodore said neighbours later told her there had been goats, horses, donkeys, alpacas, chickens and sheep in the five paddocks, including a house yard.
"The paddocks were bare, they were dirt," she said.
"Inside the house was faeces and urine, they made a very rough effort to clean it. We had to replace the little bit of carpet we had, every single fly screen was ripped.
"The dogs scratched all the doors and the trims. The kids were sleeping in a house … full of fleas."
The couple claim that the livestock were so hungry they had bent and broke fencing, much of which had to be replaced, and also ringbarked trees.
A garden that Ms Theodore had spent six years growing had been ravaged by the animals, while an outside enclosure meant for cats had been used for chickens that had been living in two inches of excrement.
They also raked up more than 4 cubic metres of waste from the paddocks.
Ms Theodore's husband says he confronted Ms Cameron about the conditions on the day she left, but she put it down to general wear and tear.
"When I was mowing in the front yard (later), I bumped over theses recesses and wondered what they were," he said.
"A few weeks later I mowed again and found they were shallow graves with goat bodies, a horn of the goat was sticking up. There were several goats that had been buried there."
He said they were unable to track her down after she left.
It is understood she moved down to a friend's property to the west of the Gold Coast before moving to Canungra and then Petrie in north Brisbane.
He said court action was delayed as they restored the house back to its original condition, forcing the couple to take out a credit card loan.
Ms Theodore said they had inspected the property a few times at the start of the lease and there had been no issues, Ms Cameron paid her rent and she was "charming."
When her husband needed to go to the property to fix something, it was always at night and he was never invited inside the home, she said.
"It makes my blood boil," Ms Theordore said.
"I would have acted if I'd known about them (hungry animals). We're very, very angry and upset after seeing and reading about that lady."
Ms Theodore said they may look at pursuing legal action once more.