An elderly woman obsessed with catching injured wildlife and caging them at her NSW home has been placed on a 12-month community corrections order.
Brenda Dorothy Marney, who spent 84 days in prison after breaching her bail conditions, would keep the animals at her home for more than 12 months despite their urgent need for veterinary treatment.
Police say these actions effectively amounted to animal torture.
Forster Local Court magistrate Ross Hudson on Thursday said there were rumours and innuendo surrounding the 74-year-old's mistreatment of numerous animals but no direct evidence.
Mr Hudson said the fact Marney had grabbed a pelican and placed such a large bird in the boot of her car raised concerns about her moral culpability, and he had to make clear inflicting harm on animals was unacceptable.
Marney was convicted, placed on a 12-month community corrections order and barred from keeping or taking possession of animals for a year.
Defence lawyer Roland Day has earlier told the court Marney's actions might have been cruel but did not constitute torture.
"She was thinking she could care for animals better than veterinarians," he said.
A tearful Marney said she always felt she was doing the right thing.
In the police statement of facts, it was revealed Marney would establish trust with injured animals over time before taking them home in her car and caging them.
Police said Marney, known as the "Bird Lady of Tuncurry", would keep the injured animals at home before taking them to the vet, where they were often euthanised due to their pain and suffering.
When police went to Marney's Tuncurry home in May, they found two magpies and a rainbow lorikeet in cages in her lounge room.
One magpie was missing the top of its beak and the other's beak was disfigured, while the lorikeet had no visible injuries.
Police said the loss of a bird's beak would cause significant pain and Marney's denial of veterinary assistance was "tantamount to torture".
Marney had kept magpies with broken beaks at her home for more than 12 months without seeking vet treatment.
The Mid-North Coast Animal Hospital confirmed to police that Marney had visited their clinic several times with injured pelicans and seagulls that were so severely injured they had to be euthanised.
Marney had also contacted the Sweet Pea veterinary hospital on April 21 saying she had a pelican with part of its beak missing, but waited four days to attend the practice. The pelican had to be euthanised.
On April 27, Marney was spotted offering a fish to a pelican before forcibly putting it in her car boot and accidentally closing it on the bird's wing.
When stopped by police, Marney claimed she was trying to help the pelican as it had a fish hook in its left wing.
Marney had been due to face a three-day hearing starting on Wednesday but instead pleaded guilty to six charges including animal cruelty.
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