Woman abandoned cats to avoid inspection

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court
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A WOMAN allowed cats to over-run her home, and dumped five ill pets at an animal charity to avoid inspectors.

Magistrates heard Sharon Gregory’s home on Ribble Road, Blackpool, was filthy and verminous to the extreme.

Jonathon Fail, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “For a considerable amount of time no reasonable person would live in, or keep animals in such conditions.”

The Victorian terraced property cannot be lived in because Blackpool Council has served legal orders on it as being unfit for human habitation.

Mr Fail told the hearing, at which former DWP call centre worker Gregory admitted five cruelty offences, that the society had had to remove cats from the same premises in 1999.

Mum-of-two Gregory was banned from keeping any animals for 10 years and was given a 12-week jail term suspended for 18 months.

She must pay £250 costs and undertake a year’s supervision by the probation service.

Mr Fail said three of the five cats dumped at the Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary, St Annes, were blind because of infection or disease.

She abandoned them the night before her home was to be inspected because they were in the worst condition.

The blind trio had to be put down.

Two out of the 10 cats taken from Ribble Road also had to be put down.

The prosecutor asked for Gregory to be made the subject of the order banning her from keeping animals.

Her lawyer Steven Duffy said that his client had started with just one cat – a stray – taken in as an act of human kindness.

He added: “Another cat turned up and then there were kittens.

“The house got into a terrible state because she became depressed.

“She lived in one room and the cats took over. She became deeply embarrassed and ashamed of what she knew the council and RSPCA would find.”

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