North Tyneside woman leaves cat to starve in horror home

Three-year-old Moggie Megan was found dead at the home of the hideous estate after owner Deborah Ferry failed to return to feed her for four days.

The badly decomposed remains of another cat were also discovered behind a bathtub panel.

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A vet said Megan, who weighed just 3 pounds when she was discovered, was starving and the fact that her owner was not seeking treatment for an undiagnosed liver condition made her problems worse.

The Northern Echo: There was no flooring on the floorboards and trash was strewn around the property.There was no flooring on the floorboards and trash was strewn around the property. (Image: RSPCA)

Ferry, 49, of Matfen Gardens, Howdon, admitted to three animal welfare offenses in North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court earlier this month and has now been banned from keeping animals for the rest of her life.

The court heard RSPCA inspectors visiting the property on Tynemouth Road in Wallsend on August 25 last year and looking through the letter box saw flies and rubbish strewn on the ground.

On August 29, police were called to gain access to the property, where Megan was found dead next to a shopping cart in the living room.

RSPCA Inspector Rowena Proctor told the court: “The smell in the mailbox was terrible and there were a lot of flies buzzing at the window. Once the door was opened the smell was much worse than expected. Flies seemed to be everywhere, hundreds of them.

The Northern Echo: The property was infested with fliesThe lot was full of flies (Image: RSPCA)

“An old indoor cage base from a guinea pig cage was used as a litter box. This was very dirty and had numerous heaps of faeces. The hob was completely covered with dirty dishes. The kitchen bench was filthy and had empty cans of cat food, a very spoiled bowl of milk with flies stuck to its solidified surface, and two pet bowls with some stale, dried food.

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“The bedrooms were just as untidy and unclean as the rest of the property, again with bare floorboards, bare walls, cat feces, general dirt, food wrappers, and stained mattresses. When I entered the bathroom, I felt like I was being swarmed with flies. At least 20 flies were swimming in the dirty toilet.”

The officer described noticing a “cat-sized” hole in the side of the bathtub and peeling off the paneling to find a black-and-white cat that had been dead for some time. The animal’s pelvic bones were visible and the eyeballs were gone in the head.

The Northern Echo: The bathroom where inspectors found the remains of another cat behind the bathtub panel.The bathroom where inspectors found the remains of another cat behind the bathtub panel. (Image: RSPCA)

“Thousands of live fleas attached themselves to me when the plate was removed,” the inspector said. “I have dealt with many animals infested with fleas, but I have never seen fleas on this scale.”

Later in the day, Ferry was arrested at an address in Wallsend.

Ferry, who was also sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay a total of £754, described the living conditions as “s***hole” and said she was disgusted with herself.

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In the interview, she said she lived with her partner and could not afford gas or electricity.

Following the verdict, Inspector Proctor added: “The investigation into this case has been extremely disturbing. The conditions in the house were terrible and the amount of flies and fleas was on a scale I had never seen before.

“No animal should ever be placed in a situation where it is left to its own devices. When people are struggling, we urge them to turn to animal welfare organizations for help and help with housing, rather than letting their pets suffer and die alone like poor Megan did.” North Tyneside woman leaves cat to starve in horror home

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