Tayside and Central Scotland

Perth cat owner's 'uninhabitable' property

A home where up to 25 cats were allowed to run wild was described by a housing officer as "the worst" she had ever seen.

A court was told that Elspeth McVie kept cats and kittens in "uninhabitable" conditions until her local authority intervened.

The council inspector said she had to rush home and shower straight afterwards.

Perth and Kinross Council is seeking to recover the property from Ms McVie.

Council inspector Lynne Selbie told a civil hearing at Perth Sheriff Court she had worked in housing and gone into properties for about 20 years.

Ms Selbie said: "I honestly have to say that in my opinion that is the worst I have ever seen.

"It was uninhabitable. It was a clear health hazard. It was sad that somebody was living in those conditions."

'Really traumatic'

Ms Selbie told the court that, as an animal lover, she found the experience "really traumatic."

She said: "I went into the property and discovered there was a huge amount of cats - more than we had thought.

"They were quite feral. It was quite alarming for me because I had never seen so many cats. There were babies (kittens), and a cat having kittens.

"We went upstairs. There was lots and lots of clutter, bags and cardboard boxes. The bathroom and toilet were really dirty and I retched and ran outside."

Ms Selbie told the court that the carpets were soggy underfoot and the cats were so frightened and distressed they were jumping over banisters and up the wall.

She said: "The cats had been scratching up the walls. My opinion was that the damage to the property was significant.

"She had stated she only had one dog and one cat but then openly admitted at a later date that she had been hiding them."

Ms Selbie told the court that a number of the cats did not appear to be in a healthy condition.

She said it was decided they should be taken away and re-homed.

Perth and Kinross Council is seeking a decree for recovery of the property in Perth's Newhouse Road from Ms McVie.

The civil hearing, before Sheriff William Wood, continues.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites