Flea-ridden cats rescued from flat full of faeces and rubbish | ITV News

A woman who kept her cats in the "most disgusting environment" an RSPCA officer had ever seen has been banned from keeping animals.

One of the two flea-ridden cats living in Sara Whitton's filthy, faeces and rubbish-filled flat lost 16 teeth because of dental disease.

RPSCA inspector Jack Taylor visited the house, on Lupton Walk in Lowedges, in June 2022 due to worries over the welfare of the animals and noticed a strong smell coming from behind the door.

The inspector said he could see rubbish piled high on the floor which made it difficult for Whitton to open the door.

The 52-year-old was issued with an improvement notice but after subsequent visits, when the living conditions had not changed, the cats called Sooty and Kikki were removed and taken to a vet for treatment.

Sara Whitton, 52, admitted two animal welfare offences at a hearing in June at Sheffield magistrates court.

Inspector Taylor who said: “It was the most disgusting environment I had ever experienced, and I could not believe a person could live in this environment, let alone cats.

"Behind the TV stand in the living room was a huge mound of cat faeces, which the cats had obviously chosen to use as their toilet as the litter tray in the bathroom was still full and overflowing."

In his evidence, the vet said the cats had suffered because the owner had failed to seek veterinary attention. Sooty, who had severe dental disease, was left to suffer for more than six months.

Inspector Taylor made repeated attempts to speak to Whitton but his phone calls went unanswered and appointments were missed.

Inspector Taylor added: "It wasn't just the condition in the flats. Both cats had not received anything like the right level of care or seen a vet, resulting in them being neglected and suffering from severe dental issues and skin allergies.”

In mitigation, the court heard that Whitton was remorseful and ashamed of the situation. She recognised that she needed help and no longer wished to keep animals.

Whitton was handed a five year ban on keeping all animals and given a 12 month Community Order and ordered to pay costs of £200 and a Victim Surcharge of £114.

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