A flea infestation, piles of feces on the floor and a stench of urine so strong it could be smelled through a door were some of the conditions in a home that led to a woman getting a fine in provincial court Tuesday.
Valerie Anne MacArthur, 28, appeared before Judge Nancy Orr in Charlottetown where she pleaded guilty to causing a companion animal to be in distress and keeping them in a place that caused harm to the animal.
Orr fined MacArthur $1,000 and ordered her to pay $5,000 in restitution to the P.E.I. Humane Society.
Before delivering the sentence, Orr read from a veterinarian’s notes about visits to an abandoned, locked home in Ten Mile House owned by MacArthur where the Humane Society seized 20 cats, of which six were euthanized.
The notes said the cats were living in deplorable conditions and the stench of urine was so strong the veterinarian could smell it through a metal door. The society had received a tip about the situation last July and the animals were seized shortly afterwards.
Inside the home there were about 30 piles of feces on the floor and the veterinarian’s notes said the heat and smell were almost unbearable.
Some of the cats were flea infested and a litter of kittens in the bathroom had eye infections.
Although the veterinarian noted many of the cats were friendly, there were some with bite wounds on their face and ears from feral cats that were free to bully the younger ones.
Orr said most of the cats were underweight and had worms while some couldn’t be socialized and had to be euthanized.
MacArthur will be on probation for two years, during which time she will have to take a course on how to care for companion animals and is prohibited from owning or having a companion in her care, unless under the Humane Society’s direct supervision.
Orr also said MacArthur could work off some of the restitution at the Humane Society at a rate of $5 per hour worked, although it was up to the Humane Society if they wanted to allow it.