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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Cat Collection Addiction

I am again reminded by recent events, of the 2009 case of (yet another) cat hording abuser, one Inez Tyrrell of Amzeni Persians in Telford, Shropshire. For those not acquainted with this little bit of infamy, she was convicted in court, and admitted to 13 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. Twenty-eight of her 72 persians (in a 2 bedroomed house!) had to be put down. Another four were found dead in the freezer.  


From the press records: 

An experienced officer had to leave as he almost vomited from the smell, due to the ammonia levels. Cats were suffering from ocular, dental and respiratory tract diseases, and facial pyoderma.
“One cat had severely deformed hind limbs and couldn’t walk properly and should have been taken to the vets immediately. The hall stairs and landing of the house were covered in cat faeces and were stained with urine."
Judge Morgan branded her actions "totally unnacceptable" and said: “I’ve never come across a case where so many animals have had to be destroyed over just one person’s actions. “You must have known what condition these cats were living in - the physical appearance of them show they were seriously suffering. “The RSPCA had to pay nearly £100,000 in cattery and veterinary expenses. For that great British charity to lose so much money because of you is totally and utterly unacceptable.” 
(Guess who picks up the pieces - as usual). 
It is ominous that Tyrell stated that “It was never a business, it has always been a hobby. All of us cat breeders keep cats for the same reason, we love them so much.”  I sincerely hope that she does not speak for the majority of cat breeders when defending this type of abuse as being a 'hobby' - "loving them so much" that they literally love them to death. Looks to me like "collection addiction" and exploitation. 

The court imposed a life ban on keeping cats, and a 5 year ban on keeping reptiles (which were also abused in her home). It is notable that on the back of a court ban for life, the GCCF saw fit to only charge her with 11 counts of causing unnecessary suffering (after she admitted 13 in court), and one charge of not providing a suitable environment for the cats she was responsible for. I wonder which of the 4 cats in the freezer that charge applied to and why for the other three, the freezer was deemed to be an appropriate environment? I presume it must have applied to the dead freezer cats, surely? But then what about the cats kept upstairs in the many filthy little cages? I suppose according to the British cat fancy, those conditions would be deemed "appropriate"? I wonder which dear soul on the UK Governing Council would like to be locked up in a little cage for several years, to see if it really is appropriate? Surely 76 counts of providing unnacceptable conditions sends a clearer message? The GCCF then imposed a 5 year suspension, after which she may apply to have it lifted. 

I wonder what you have to do to be given a life ban in the GCCF? Maybe if you bring them under public scrutiny for turning a blind eye to overcrowding by their breeders, perhaps? Or possibly setting fire to the cat fancy president? 


Of course, the UK GCCF and every other cat registry worldwide has exact stats on every one of their breeders and owners' cats through the registration and transfer process, so they have the wherewithal to carry out the necessary control measures to prevent cats being overcrowded. All they need is the will to keep their house in order.

But I note in the GCCF's business plan, that registry fees are the bulk (90%) of the income per annum - so guess where the real priority lies? I mean, which business wants to limit its own fee income, merely because it means being nice to a few hundred thousand cats? (And the GCCF (Ltd) is very definitely a business, like every other cat registry worldwide). 

And then of course, cat fancies tend to try and downplay incidents like these of being "one-off" aberrations by misguided individuals who they then go out of their way to disown, since being caught with your hand in the animal-abuse cookie jar is bad PR for the cat fancy. But they do nothing to police their members or discourage hoarding of cats.  

Witness Tracy Mayo, of Tracylooe Cattery in Looe, Cornwall who was found to have more than 100 persian cats locked up in a barn, in execrable conditions in small cages a couple of years back. The local rescue centre helped ensure a happy ending for some of these cats. The Tracylooe breeder prefix is still listed under the GCCF, and Ms Mayo is not any suspension list - temporary or permanent. (I do note that both temporary and permanent life suspensions seem to be awarded to those who are caught not paying moneys due/ withholding show earnings/ keeping inadequate financial records and not submitting all the required paperwork. It's good to know the GCCF has its business priorities right - can't cry over a few cats, can we?) 

How about Stacey Bogue of Startrax cattery, who when she heard the SPCA had been called out to her cattery, opened the doors and let the cats out into the snow, and fled to Canada? Neither the CFA nor TICA did anything to censure her. The conditions under which her cats were kept were horrendous, and the only reason it came to light was her husband who was having a custody battle and wanted to prove her an unfit parent. 

Posted at Thu, March 17, 2011 9:05:23 AM 

  “This is no news. This happened almost 2 years ago already, and unfortunately nobody could stop this evil person. CFA and TICA both did nothing against her. Stacey also had two males from me and I heard that one of them has died meanwhile (you see him on one picture, a red persian sitting on a blue towel), and the other one nobody knows where he is. People said that Stacey just let them run out in the cold winter, left to themselves, and maybe they have died from the hard winter in Canada... I swear if I ever meet this woman in person, I will do the same to her what she has done to all these cats. Lock her in the cellar and throw a few kibbles of food on the floor every 3-4 days...! No cleaning, no toilet, let her sleep in her own shit! This woman was a prospective cat judge and she sounded so nice! You never see behind the face of a person.... Pictures were taken by her (Ex-)husband but not to protect the cats, just to start a custody battle about their daughter...” 


While we're bumming around the US, how about Judith Lawson, a former cat breeder who was found to have housed 22 cats in filthy cages in her garage for more than 6 years? She "didn't mean to do it". I suppose at no time in that 6 years did it occur to her that she was doing wrong. See 22 cats living in filth . 

Investigators noted that this probably happened at a previous home she lived in, in Bellevue. When she moved out, walls and floors had to be ripped out because of the urine and faecal contamination. 

And it goes on and on. And the abuse lists can be easily found in the public domain. 

The culpability of the cat fancies for encouraging this behaviour is explored in more detail in a later blog. 

6 comments:

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