A bikini model has gone head-to-head with her local council and won after ‘jealous’ neighbours complained that her 54 pets were keeping them awake at night and attracting vermin.
Hayley Bramhall tends to 22 rabbits, nine dogs, 17 birds, two ferrets, two cats and two guinea pigs from ‘morning to night’ at her Ermington home in Sydney’s northwest.
The 30-year-old says she doesn’t have children because her animals ‘are her babies’ and claims she suffered a nervous breakdown when Parramatta Council arrived on her doorstep threatening to have them all removed.
Ms Bramhall’s neighbours made official complaints over three years to authorities claiming the incessant chirping of birds and other animal noises keep them awake all night and said there were just too many on her property.
Hayley Bramhall tends to her 22 rabbits, nine dogs, 17 birds, two ferrets, two cats and two guinea pigs from ‘morning to night’ at her Ermington home in Sydney’s west
Her first ever animal was a pomeranian puppy named Milly when she was just 16 years old (pictured)
Last week, after a long legal battle, Ms Bramhall won the fight to keep her many pets.
‘It felt like I was having my children taken from me,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I just kept on crying and crying, but I knew I couldn’t give up on them and that’s why I kept pushing. Because I knew my animals had a good home here.’
Ms Bramhall, who still lives in the home where she was raised by her mum, believes neighbours are ‘jealous’ of her and her family.
Of what, she’s not so sure.
Ms Bramhall insists she takes great care of her animals, and that they all have separate spaces to play but also interact well together. Pictured: Rabbit pens
Ms Bramhall’s two cats are both indoor cats and play well with her dogs and birds (pictured with one of her cats)
She claims a neighbourhood feud between her own family and the complainant dates back to when she was a little girl and that they’ve always ‘had it out’ for her mother.
‘When I got older, that attention just turned to me I guess,’ Ms Bramhall said.
Even before she started collecting pets aged 16, the neighbours were quick to lodge complaints about ‘whatever they could,’ she claimed.
Ms Bramhall was drawn to animals from a young age, and when she was 16 she adopted a Pomeranian dog named Milly.
When Milly died years later, she filled the void of loss with two more Pomeranians, before a friend bought a pet bird and piqued her interest in the species.
Ms Bramhall says she’ll never be able to live without owning Pomeranians – which are her favourite animals
Caring for all the animals is a big job for one person, she said, but she’s never once questioned that this was her life’s calling
Her animal obsession snowballed to get to the point, now, where she tends to 54 animals each and every day.
It’s a big job for one person, she said, but she’s never once questioned that this was her life’s calling.
‘I was meant to be in this world for animals. That is just what my life is about, to have them and care for them and fight for them. Ultimately I’m here on this Earth for them,’ she said.
Ms Bramhall has a particularly close bond with her birds, many of whom can have conversations with her or sing her songs
Ms Bramhall also works as a bikini model and does promotional work (pictured) which is her other passion
One neighbour said while Ms Bramhall clearly looks after her pets well, she’s ‘gone too far’ with the numbers living there.
But the 30-year-old said her pets all have plenty of space to roam on her property and are all happy and healthy.
Most of Ms Bramhall’s money goes to tending to the animals, as well as basically all of her time.
‘From the time I wake up, I start on the birds and then move to the rabbits and so forth, feeding them, playing with them and talking to them… Some days it’s from the time I wake up until night time,’ she said.
Ms Bramhall has 22 rabbits (pictured) and ensures she gives them all
Ms Bramhall also has enormous outdoor averies for her birds, which she cleans out at least once a week
Ms Bramhall is also her mother’s primary carer.
While the legal proceedings have left her depressed and exhausted, Ms Bramhall feels like she’s accomplished ‘something big’ by taking on the council and her neighbours on her own.
‘It’s just been complete bullying,’ she said. ‘And they almost won and took everything from me.’
City of Parramatta Councillor Steven Issa described Ms Bramhall’s win as ‘outrageous’.
‘If my neighbour had nine dogs, 22 rabbits, 17 parrots and a partridge in a pear tree, I’d be very concerned too,’ Mr Issa said.
‘Domestic houses on 500, 600sqm blocks aren’t appropriate for that many pets… I empathise with the neighbours, and will look into it to make sure [Ms Bramhall] abides by the conditions imposed.’
Ms Bramhall has two Pomeranians – which she got after grieving the loss of her first pet, Millie
Court orders for Ms Bramhall moving forward
Ms Bramhall was victorious in her appeal to the Land and Environment Court and was given permission to keep all 54 of her animals.
But the 30-year-old will be subject to some restrictions, most importantly being that she cannot purchase or keep any more animals than the current amount.
The judge ordered that she:
1. Not keep any more than 17 birds on the premises
– Aviaries and cages must be lawfully constructed
– Grass must be cut and maintained with bird feed and waste removed in a timely manner
– Bird enclosures free of rodents
– All food stored in airtight containers
2. Not to keep any more than 22 rabbits
– All rabbits being kept in rabbit proof hutches
– Only 1 rabbit per hutch
– No leaving rabbits alone with other rabbits of the opposite gender
– All rabbit food being stored in vermin proof containers
3. Not keep more than 2 Guinea Pigs
4. Not keep more than 9 small dogs (under 15kg) on the premises
5. Not keep more than 2 cats on the premises
6. Not keep more than 2 ferrets on the premises