Oldham, Greater Manchester: Zoe Allen

#TheList Zoe Elizabeth Pearsall Allen, born 23/10/1972, formerly of Hawley Street, Colne, Lancashire and more recently Henshaw Street in Oldham – left dogs, cats and a ferret behind when she moved out of her home

Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham
Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham

In total, two dogs, ten cats and a ferret were discovered at Zoe Allen’s house after she moved out – six of the cats and the ferret were dead.

Allen pleaded guilty to eight offences relating to the two dogs and seven of the cats under the Animal Welfare Act*.

RSPCA inspector Natalie Taylor said: “We got a call that Allen had abandoned her animals and I attended.

“There were lots of blue bottle flies in the window of the property, which I know from experience isn’t a good sign.

“I knocked, and was relieved when one of the dogs, Cassey, jumped up at the window, but my relief didn’t last long as she didn’t look in good shape.

“I could hear a second dog – Trixy – barking frantically upstairs and I knew there were some cats in there too.

“I’ll never forget this house as long as I live.”

Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham

When housing officers granted access the animals were discovered living amongst clutter, rubbish and their own filth. Initially two cats were found alive along with the bodies of six cats and a ferret.

A further two cats were caught in cat traps in the days following. There were lots of empty food and water bowls. Fleas were visible on both the alive and dead animals.

The animals were seized by police and placed in RSPCA care on veterinary advice.

On examination, the four surviving cats were found to be emaciated. Cassey – a female Jack Russell type dog – was very thin with her ribs, spine, and pelvis all prominent. She had a mass on her eye, an ear condition and a skin condition.

Trixy – another female Jack Russell type dog – was even thinner than Cassey, with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily visible. She had a skin condition and overgrown nails that had grown into the skin.

All have recovered in RSPCA care and have now been happily rehomed.

In mitigation the court heard that Allen had to leave the house due to a water burst, rent arrears and problems with her neighbours. Her benefits stopped so she moved to Oldham. The court was told she had “buried her head in the sand”.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with curfew and 20 rehabilitation requirement days. Ordered to pay £300 costs and a £85 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

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