#TheList Elizabeth Richmond-Watson, born 02/06/1960, of Halfacre, Henley-on-Thames RG9 6DB – neglected 64 Bengal cats
Elizabeth Richmond-Watson, owner of Owlsdene Bengals, was found guilty of offences under the Animal Welfare Act of failing to protect 64 Bengal cats in her care because of a lack of disease control programme and appropriate hygiene provisions to prevent the spread of disease.
The RSPCA visited Richmond-Watson’s address in February 2016 after concerns were raised about the welfare of a number of cats bred to sell.
Inspectors found the property in a sordid state with cats roaming the “unhygienic” house and outbuildings.
Food had been left lying around and many of the animals were suffering from illnesses including cat flu and eye infections.
Three animals had to be put down at the scene and another four in the days afterwards due to health and behavioural issues.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Smith said: “When we arrived there were lots and lots of cats just roaming the house and the outbuildings, which had been built for breeding in completely unhygienic conditions.
“It was chaotic with clutter and rubbish and there was food lying around — a totally unsuitable environment for these cats to be living in.
“Sadly, the owner was just not providing proper care for these cats, leading to some extreme neglect.
“She may have had the best of intentions but the reality was the animals were suffering and we had to act to ensure there was no further suffering.”
Richmond-Watson will be able to appeal for her ban to be lifted after one year.
Sentence: 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 60 hours’ unpaid work; ordered to pay £10,000 costs plus victim surcharge; disqualified from keeping animals for three years (expires December 2019 but she could appeal in December 2017).