Chard, Somerset: Troy Draycott and Michael Stephens

#TheList Troy Draycott, aged 31, of XX Holyrood Street, Chard TA20 2DN and Michael William Stephens, aged 28, of Old Town Flats, Chard – kept two poorly cats in foul conditions.

Chard men Troy Draycott (left) and Michael Stephens left cats Lexi and Blade to suffer in foul conditions
Chard men Troy Draycott (left) and Michael Stephens left cats Lexi and Blade to suffer in foul conditions and failed to have their ailments treated.

When an RSPCA inspector called at the address of one of the men she was greeted with an overwhelming stench of cat urine and faeces.

When she entered the bathroom where the cats – named Lexi and Blade – were being kept she found them in a state of distress and neglect and lying on a urine-soaked cushion and blanket.

The room was covered in dirt and walked-in faeces, including pools of diarrhoea, and the two cats were very subdued, sat in a hunched position and were heavily soiled.

Lexi was in a very poor condition and appeared emaciated with her spine, ribs and pelvis easily felt. She also had minimal muscle tone and was described as being in a “life-threatening condition”.

Lexi and Blade had dirty ears and flea dirt throughout their coats which were wet with urine and “smelt appalling”. There was some food and milk in a bowl, but no water was available.

They were assessed by a veterinary surgeon who said they had high levels of flea dirt and were soaked in urine. They also had mites and ear infections and Blade had a urine-soaked underside, skin lesions and stunk of ammonia.

Lexi’s body condition was anaemic, her temperature was very low and she was in a life-threatening condition.

Draycott and Stephens both pleaded guilty to causing animal suffering.

Chard cat abusers Stephens and Draycott outside court
Chard cat abusers Stephens and Draycott outside court

The court heard that both cats had since responded to treatment, were in full good health and would not be returned to the defendants.

Defending solicitor Ray Peters said that Stephens and Draycott were joint owners of the cats and had both been diagnosed with learning difficulties and other mental health conditions.

“They discussed the possibility of owning an animal of some sort but were of the opinion that the accommodation they had was not suitable,” he said.

“However they noticed an advert on Facebook for two kittens being sold by a friend and, perhaps somewhat foolishly, they went and had a look and immediately fell in love with them and had them.

“Initially they were at Draycott’s home but the housing association was not prepared for him to have pets so they moved them to Stephens’ flat where they were rescued from.

“When the inspector attended they both immediately agreed and were delighted to be able to sign the animals over because they realised they were not able to look after them as they should have.”

He said the regret was that they did not do anything earlier but added that they now didn’t have any animals and did not wish to have any.

£150 each towards court costs. Banned from keeping animals for just five years (expires September 2023).