RSPCA: Woman prosecuted after cat left suffering from ‘largest wound’ staff had ever seen
Millie's owner has been banned from keeping animals for nine months after she failed to seek vet treatment for a large wound to the cat’s stomach
Warning: story contains graphic imagery and descriptions.
A woman has been banned from keeping animals for nine months after she failed to seek vet treatment for a large wound on her cat's stomach - trying to treat it at home instead.
Adele Milne, 38, was prosecuted by the RSPCA after her cat, Millie, was left to suffer from an ulcerated mass on her stomach for a prolonged period of time - leading to her needing to be euthanised. The Oldham woman appeared before Tameside Magistrates’ Court this month for sentencing, after earlier pleading guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act.
As well as the disqualification, magistrates placed Milne under a nine-month community order during which time she has to complete 10 rehabilitation activity days. She was also fined £120, as well as having to pay another £500 in court costs.
The court heard a statement from RSPCA animal rescue officer Jessica Pierce, who visited Milne’s home in June to check up on the black and white cat after receiving a report she had been injured. In her statement, she said the wound the pet was suffering from was “one of the worst wounds” she’d seen on a cat.
“The defendant said the wound had been there for a couple of months and started as a small lump which the cat had licked. She stated that she had tried ringing vets and an animal charity who had attended, but couldn’t catch the cat,” the RSPCA officer continued.
The defendant agreed that the animal rescue officer could take the cat to the Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, where a vet’s examination found Millie was suffering from a malignant mammary tumour, as well as significant dental disease. The vet said the tumour would have caused the feline significant suffering for “at least a week and possibly significantly longer”.
In his expert report, he said the infection and dying tissue likely caused Millie "significant pain", and early veterinary intervention could have been successful in treating her tumour. “But such tumours often carry a poor prognosis, so euthanasia is often the best option before the lesion gets to a stage such as this to cause unnecessary suffering. In my opinion, allowing the ulceration to get to this extent, would have led to significant suffering for the cat.”
In mitigation, the court was told that the defendant had said she “bought different things from the shop to treat the cat’s wound at home”. The RSPCA said that Millie’s health was so poor, that a vet later decided the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep to end her suffering.