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Woman left 10 cats, two dogs and a ferret to suffer after she moved out of house and left them

Zoe Allen was banned from keeping animals for five years Credit: RSPCA

A woman who admitted allowing cats and dogs to suffer at her home in Colne, Lancashire has been disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

Two dogs, ten cats and a ferret were discovered at Zoe Elizabeth Pearsall Allen’s house after she moved out - six of the cats and the ferret had died.

Allen, who abandoned the animals at an address on Hawley Street, appeared before Blackburn Magistrates’ Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to eight offences relating to the two dogs and seven of the cats under the Animal Welfare Act.

When housing officers granted access the animals were discovered living amongst clutter, rubbish and their own filth. Credit: RSPCA

“There were lots of blue bottle flies in the window of the property, which I know from experience isn’t a good sign.

“I knocked, and was relieved when one of the dogs, Cassey, jumped up at the window, but my relief didn’t last long as she didn’t look in good shape.

"I could hear a second dog - Trixy - barking frantically upstairs and I knew there were some cats in there too.

“I’ll never forget this house as long as I live.”

– RSPCA inspector Natalie Taylor

When housing officers granted access the animals were discovered living amongst clutter, rubbish and their own filth.

Initially two cats were found alive along with the bodies of six cats and a ferret, and a further two cats were caught in cat traps in the days following.

There were lots of empty food and water bowls. Fleas were visible on both the alive and dead animals.

The animals were seized by police and placed in RSPCA care on veterinary advice.

On examination, the four surviving cats were found to be emaciated.

Cassey - a female Jack Russell type dog - was very thin with her ribs, spine, and pelvis all prominent. She had a mass on her eye, an ear condition and a skin condition.

Trixy - another female Jack Russell type dog (pictured above right) - was even thinner than Cassey, with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily visible. She had a skin condition and overgrown nails that had grown into the skin.

All have recovered in RSPCA care and have now been happily rehomed.

In mitigation the court heard that Allen had to leave the house due to a water burst, rent arrears and problems with her neighbours.

Her benefits stopped so she moved to Oldham.

The court was told she had “buried her head in the sand”.

Allen - who now lives on Henshaw Street, Oldham, Greater Manchester - was also sentenced to a 12-month community order, 20 rehabilitation requirement days, a 12-week curfew between the hours of 9pm and 6am and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.