April 13, 2024

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More than 150 cats have been abandoned in apartments in France

More than 150 cats have been abandoned in apartments in France

Prosecutors on Tuesday sought an 18-month suspended prison sentence for animal abandonment against a couple who lived in disgusting conditions in an 80m2 apartment in Nice with 159 cats and seven dogs.

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The Nice Criminal Court adjourned its verdict to April 3.

Police officers who responded to a neighborhood dispute on February 12, 2023, found dozens of animals in each room, dehydrated, malnourished, and suffering from parasites and wounds caused by dirt. The floor and furniture were covered in urine, feces and garbage.

In one bathroom, investigators also found the bodies of at least two cats and two puppies, some in a state of decomposition. Despite the care provided, six cats did not survive.

“They were the lovers of my life, but I slipped away,” explained their 68-year-old owner, whose apartment and animal depravity were only occasional, she was looking for solutions, but lost herself for a reason. Infections and heat waves that hit the cats made her sick.

A psychiatric evaluation noted Noah syndrome, which becomes a denial of one's own limitations to save animals. Her partner, 52, only handled contracts for their cleaning company and the couple were subject to eviction proceedings with rent arrears of €8,000.

In 2014, the couple was already under investigation as they lived in an 18m2 studio with 13 cats and a dog.

But the woman collected her parents' three cats and three dogs in 2018, after she took about thirty cats she'd been feeding in an abandoned building, believing they were at risk of poisoning. Then the animals reproduced.

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Citing the costs the couple incurs in feeding and caring for the cats, it argued for dismissal: “There was no evidence of sustained and determined neglect at any time,” Mr. François Santoni argued.

More than twenty animal rights associations have requested compensation of more than 200,000 euros for moral damages, especially the costs of caring for and caring for the rescued animals.

Like the prosecution, they sought a definitive ban on keeping animals or carrying out activities related to them.