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Penwithick woman Deborah Jayne Thomson breached ban by owning 17 cats

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

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A CARER banned from keeping animals for ten years was found living with 17 cats after they "bred uncontrollably".

All the cats were infested with fleas and four of the ten kittens had eye infections which had not been treated by a vet when the RSCPA learnt unemployed Deborah Jayne Thomson had housed them.

Thomson, of Resugga Green, Penwithick, had already been banned from keeping animals for ten years in November 2010 after causing unnecessary suffering to a terrier dog.

However, Thomson, who was before magistrates at Truro on Friday, admitted keeping the animals and breaching the order, causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure their welfare.

Magistrates banned Thomson from keeping animals for a further ten years, ordering that she must not be allowed to ask for a reduction until she has served five years of the disqualification. She was also fined £75 for breaching the order.

Thomson, who now lives in a caravan, said she had heard 'a sob story' which had compelled her to take in the first cat and the situation had escalated from there.

RSPCA inspectors learnt about the offences in July this year, while Thomson was caring for her mother at Treningle View, Bodmin.

John Wyatt, prosecuting for for the RSPCA, said Thomson had breached the order "very quickly" when she admitted in interview that she had taken in the first cat back in February 2011 – three months after the ban had been imposed.

But the situation had escalated when the "cats bred uncontrollably" and Thomson did not know what to do.

He said when the cats were removed Thomson seemed "somewhat relieved" to have the problem taken away.

Mr Wyatt added that the problem was compounded by the fact four of the kittens had bad eye ulcers, which instead of realising needed the treatment of a vet, Thomson had decided to treat with tea bags and wipes.

"Generally, all 17 had serious flea infestations," he said.

"She was in breach of the disqualification within a matter of three to four months and the problems were allowed to compound themselves. There were 17 cats in the house in not a very healthy state," Mr Wyatt said.

He said although it was a serious matter, Thomson had co-operated with the RSCPA.

Thomson, who represented herself, said: "I have not got a real explanation just that I was stupid. I heard a sob story of a cat and that's how it all started."

She added that she was too frightened to contact the RSPCA when the number of felines soared because she knew she was banned and feared she would be punished again.

"I do understand that I should not have done what I did."

Thomson must also pay £50 costs and a £20 victim surge charge.

Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA inspector Jon Phipps said: "The RSCPA does not disqualify people, the court does and by breaching the disqualification order you're going against the court.

"I hope she now understands the severity of that and, should she do it again, the consequences will be even more serious. All of the cats have done very well and most have been rehomed."

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