A CRUEL pet owner has been handed a ten-year ban from owning cats after starving her kittens to death – but can KEEP her dogs.
Michelle Smith, 36, was found with three “emaciated” dead kittens and 21 thin and hungry cats in a rabbit hutch in her filthy caravan in Aberdeenshire.
There were also two dead ducks – which she admitted had been attacked by her dogs earlier that day.
Officers from the SSPCA also seized 11 chickens and five “very thin” ducks when they visited her farm in the village of Aberchirder.
Smith failed to provide an adequate diet, environment and veterinary attention to the cats and ducks.
At Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Tuesday, she admitted to five counts of animal neglect between July and August last year.
Smith was given a ten-year ban on owning and keeping animals – excluding dogs – with a further sentence deferred for six months.
The horror find was made after a good Samaritan called a hotline and tipped off inspectors.
Scottish SPCA senior inspector Alison Simpson said: “Within the hutch, there were eight small kittens alive, around four or five weeks old, all were extremely thin, dirty and wet.
“There were also three dead kittens which appeared to be emaciated.
“After removing the kittens from the hutch and placing them in my van we then entered the caravan and the stench and presence of cat urine and faeces was overwhelming.
“On initial inspection, I noted one kitten running loose and two areas within the caravan which were pens with mesh doors. I also noticed one dead kitten within one of the pens.”
There was no food or water available for the cats inside the caravan.
The six kittens in this room were underweight and the deceased kitten was in an extremely thin or emaciated state
Alison said: “On initial inspection of the first caravan room and the seven cats inside they were all noted as being underweight, some severely, and there was evidence of chronic eye issues, gingivitis, ear mites and varying degrees of matting or build-up of faeces.
“The deceased kitten was in an extremely emaciated state.
“Within the second room of the caravan, there was another deceased kitten.
“This room was in a similar state to the first room in the caravan, with faecal matter covering the room and cats.”
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Alison added: “The six kittens in this room were underweight and the deceased kitten was in an extremely thin or emaciated state.
“All poultry examined at the locus were significantly underweight with two being deceased. Two of the hens were quiet, and hunched over, indicating illness.
“The vet believed the birds had not had their nutritional requirements met for a minimum of seven days.
“This is a shocking case of neglect which did not happen overnight and could have been easily avoided.”