Woman given suspended prison sentence for ‘causing unnecessary suffering’ to cats
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 December 2018
A Clevedon woman has been given a week suspended prison sentence after she breached a ban on owning cats and dogs.
Jennifer Parnell, of Beaconfield Road, appeared at North Somerset Magistrates’ Court on November 30 where she was sentenced for three offences, following a prosecution by the RSPCA.
The animal welfare charity was contacted with concerns Parnell had cats in her care - despite being convicted of animal welfare offences at Taunton Deane and West Somerset Magistrates’ Court in 2012 and receiving a 10-year disqualification order on owning the pets.
Eight cats were found living in squalid conditions, including one found to be in a suffering state who had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice after being left with a blocked bladder.
Attempts had been made to conceal the cats presence at her address, including painting over the outside window to the faeces-littered room where they were homed.
Parnell, aged 74, who was brought back to the court on a warrant after failing to attend a previous hearing, was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and saw her disqualification on keeping cats or dogs extended to 2038.
She was found to have caused unnecessary suffering to animals and had failed to ensure the needs of animals she was responsible for were met.
Parnell was also ordered to pay £2,000 towards boarding costs for the cats, who will be rehomed.
The cats were kept in a contaminated room without adequate light or ventilation or facilities which did not meet the animals’ need for a suitable environment.
RSPCA acting chief inspector Stephanie Daly said: “This could have all been avoided if the disqualification order had not been breached.
“The courts impose disqualification orders for a reason, to protect animals from suffering and neglect at the hands of people who have been convicted of doing so.
“We rely on the public to inform us if someone has breached a ban and take this very seriously, as do the courts.”
Parnell failed to provide prompt veterinary care for an animal suffering pain and did not take steps to ensure the needs of the cats were met to the extent required by good practice.