Cat hoarder barred from owning any animals
47 cats taken from former Muskoka Lakes resident following investigation by OSPCA Animal Centre
BRACEBRIDGE - A former Muskoka Lakes resident has been fined $4,500 for raising 47 cats under shocking conditions that left many with physical deformities and ailments.
Last week, the OSPCA announced that 60-year-old Deborah Pennock of Penetanguishene had pleaded guilty to three charges under the Ontario SPCA Act on Sept. 27. The charges were one count of permitting distress, one count of failing to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention and one count of failing to comply with an Ontario SPCA order.
OSPCA spokesman Brad Dewar said veterinarians who examined the cats found they were suffering from a long list of ailments, including poor body condition, stunted growth, flea and ear mite infestation, poor grooming, diarrhea, dental disease, eye disorders and disease, chronic-active upper respiratory and ocular infections, respiratory compromise, ocular discharge, corneal abnormalities and scarring.
“From December 2009 to January 2010, the Ontario SPCA Muskoka Animal Centre admitted a total of 47 cats into its care as a result of a cruelty investigation,” said Dewar. “Twenty-seven of these cats were voluntarily surrendered by Pennock and another 20 cats were removed from her property after orders were not complied with.”
Dewar said several of those cats were also found to be in respiratory distress, and that 20 per cent of the animals seized had respiratory disease.
“One cat had cardiovascular disease and another had an abdominal mass that was later determined to be a retained fetus,” he said.
Dewar said veterinarians report that the condition of the cats was likely due to living in an overcrowded environment with poor ventilation and sanitation. Dewar said veterinarians also pointed to a lack of effective vaccination protocols, poor nutrition, underfeeding, gastrointestinal parasitism and physical or psychological stressors.
As part of her penalty, Pennock has been barred from owning any animals for five years, with the exception of just two cats. She must provide written proof to the OSPCA of annual checkups, vaccinations and spay/neuter certificates from a licensed veterinarian for those two remaining animals.
“The Ontario SPCA reminds pet owners that if you have concerns for the welfare of your animal, there are other alternatives then allowing an animal to go without,” he said. “Contact your local Ontario SPCA and we can discuss what services are available.”
Reports of animal cruelty can be reported to the OSPCA by phone at 1-888-668-7722, or be email at email@example.com.