Animal ban over cats living in filth

The terrible conditions that Janet Latherton, of Leigh Road, Atherton, kept her six cats in
The terrible conditions that Janet Latherton, of Leigh Road, Atherton, kept her six cats in
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A WOMAN has been banned from keeping animals after her cats were found in the “worst conditions ever seen”.

Janet Latheron admitted causing unnecessary suffering to six pets, by failing to house them in an appropriate environment, when she appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

The 60-year-old also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure their needs were properly met and failing to protect them from pain, suffering and disease.

Tony Stock, prosecuting, said that on October 17 last year, RSPCA inspector Vicki McDonald needed police assistance to gain entry into the shed at the back of Latheron’s house in Leigh Road, Atherton.

He said: “She was immediately shocked by the horrendous conditions. They were the worst she had ever seen cats in. There were six cats inside the run, perched on various structures.

“The floor was deep with liquid faeces and urine. There was also pools of maggots in slurry and dead flies on the windowsill and structures.

“The cats’ fur was thickly caked with faeces and filth and there were no litter trays.

“There was a strong smell of urine and the cats food consisted of chips and onion gravy mixed in the slurry.

“Insp McDonald could not stay very long because the conditions were so bad.”

A vet, Angus McKenzie, was called to the house and these were some of the worst sights he had seen.

Mr Stock added: “Mr McKenzie noted that every level surface was covered with urine and faeces.

“They had worms and were suffering from other infections all associated with unsavoury conditions.

“It was essential to remove them from their environment to alleviate their suffering.

“It was clear it had taken many months or even years for the amount of faeces to build up.

“These cats were not able to express normal behaviour. Cats are clean, meticulous animals and they were forced to live, sleep and walk in their own excrement. They were very frightened.”

Mr Stock said Latheron disputed that the cats were living in such filth and refused to sign them over to the RSPCA, costing the organisation more than £4,000 in boarding fees.

Bob Toppin, defending, said: “Latheron is bitterly upset and ashamed about what happened. She never imagined she would find herself in criminal court,

“She has mobility problems and it is that which has contributed to the issue.

“She has also keep a bearded dragon, which has not suffered any problems, as this is inside her property.”

Latheron, who has no previous convictions, was banned from keeping all animals, including her bearded dragon, for 15 years. She was also given a curfew for 16 weeks and ordered to pay £500 court costs, plus £60 victim surcharge.