Cat owner is banned from keeping pets

Clare Todd
Clare Todd

A MUM has been banned from keeping pets for 10 years after a court heard how her cat’s infected abscesses got so bad it had to be put down.

Clare Todd was told that her cat, Hades, which she said she had not seen for a year, was in her elderly next-door neighbour’s garden and it had suffered an injury after a cat fight.

She collected the cat and said she would seek veterinary help for the unneutered male cat.

But the 31-year-old mum-of-two failed to do so and the neighbour contacted the RSPCA, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

John Ellwood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “Sadly, by then, Hades was suffering from multiple abscesses.

“Pus was draining from the abscesses and the discharge was smelly.”

He added that it was “irresponsible” for an owner not to have a cat neutered but particularly irresponsible to allow it to stray and allow it to get involved in fights.

Mr Ellwood, who showed magistrates pictures of Hades’ “distressing” condition, said that during an interview with RSPCA inspectors Todd came up with various conflicting excuses.

These ranged from not having contacted the vet because her dog was ill to not being sure that the cat was hers.

He added that a vet gave an opinion that had the cat been treated a few days earlier, the abscesses would have been less severe and easier to treat and the cat may have recovered from its injuries.

The court heard Todd, of Dunoon Road, Hartlepool, was fined in 2009 after admitting causing unneccessary suffering to snakes.

Todd admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the cat between February 3-7.

Adrian Morris, mitigating, said her two cats had began to roam over a period of years, though she had not forgotten about them.

He added that Todd had “other things on her mind” as she was seeking treatment for her dog’s epilepsy, heart murmur and enlarged heart.

Mr Morris said: “She had her hands full with the dog.

“She realises other arrangements should have been made.

“But it didn’t happen, she accepts she fell short of what was required of her.”

He added that she “does the right thing” in relation to care for her dog and was signed up to veterinary schemes for the animal.

He urged justices to allow her to keep pets, or at least disqualify her from keeping cats so she could continue to have her dogs.

William Grainger, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, sentenced Todd to a 12-month community order with supervision and 40 hours unpaid work.

Todd burst into tears when she was banned from keeping pets for 10 years and told she must hand over her dogs to the RSPCA.

She was also ordered to pay £250 costs, £172.08 vet costs and £133.52 RSPCA costs.