A woman who admitted allowing cats and dogs to suffer at her home in Colne, Lancashire has been disqualified from keeping animals for five years.
In total, two dogs, ten cats and a ferret were discovered at the woman’s house after she moved out – six of the cats and the ferret were dead.
The defendant, who abandoned the animals, appeared before Blackburn Magistrates’ Court last week (Tuesday 14 May) for sentencing after pleading guilty to eight offences relating to the two dogs and seven of the cats under the Animal Welfare Act.
The animals were discovered living amongst rubbish
RSPCA Inspector Natalie Taylor said:
“We got a call that the defendant had abandoned her animals and I attended.
“There were lots of blue bottle flies in the window of the property, which I know from experience isn’t a good sign.
“I knocked, and was relieved when one of the dogs, Cassey, jumped up at the window, but my relief didn’t last long as she didn’t look in good shape.
“I could hear a second dog, Trixy, barking frantically upstairs and I knew there were some cats in there too.
“I’ll never forget this house as long as I live.”
When housing officers granted access the animals were discovered living amongst clutter, rubbish and their own filth. Initially two cats were found alive along with the bodies of six cats and a ferret, and a further two cats were caught in cat traps in the days following. There were lots of empty food and water bowls. Fleas were visible on both the alive and dead animals.
The animals were seized by police and placed in our care on veterinary advice.
The animals were in a terrible state
On examination, the four surviving cats were found to be emaciated. Cassey – a female Jack Russell type dog – was very thin with her ribs, spine, and pelvis all prominent. She had a mass on her eye, an ear condition and a skin condition.
Trixy, another female Jack Russell type dog, was even thinner than Cassey, with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily visible. She had a skin condition and overgrown nails that had grown into the skin.
All have recovered in our care and have now been happily rehomed.
Why the defendant left the property
In mitigation, the court heard that the defendant had to leave the house due to a water burst, rent arrears and problems with her neighbours. Her benefits stopped so she moved to Oldham. The court was told she had “buried her head in the sand”.
The defendant was also sentenced to:
- a 12-month community order
- 20 rehabilitation requirement days
- a 12-week curfew between the hours of 9pm and 6am
- pay £300 costs and a £85 victim surcharge