A WOMAN who admitted allowing cats and dogs to suffer at her home has been disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

Two dogs, ten cats and a ferret were discovered at the house of Zoe Elizabeth Pearsall Allen - with six of the cats and the ferret found dead.

Blackburn Magistrates Court heard how Allen, 46, had abandoned the animals at her home on Hawley Street in Colne.

The court heard how housing officers had discovered the animals living amongst clutter, rubbish and their own filth.

Initially two cats were found alive along with the bodies of six cats and the ferret, and a further two cats were caught in cat traps in the days following. A large number of empty food and water bowls were also found while fleas were visible on both the alive and dead animals.

The animals were seized by police and placed in RSPCA care on veterinary advice.

When examined the four surviving cats were found to be emaciated.

While Cassey - a female Jack Russell type dog - was discovered very thin with her ribs, spine, and pelvis all prominent. She had a mass on her eye, an ear condition and a skin condition.

And Trixy - another female Jack Russell type dog - was found even thinner than Cassey, with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily visible. She had a skin condition and overgrown nails that had grown into the skin.

All have recovered in RSPCA care and have now been rehomed.

RSPCA inspector Natalie Taylor, who attended the home, said: “I’ll never forget this house as long as I live.”

Allen had already pleaded guilty to eight offences relating to the two dogs and seven of the cats under the Animal Welfare Act.

In mitigation the court heard that Allen had to leave the house due to a water burst, rent arrears and problems with her neighbours. Her benefits stopped so she moved to Oldham. The court was told she had “buried her head in the sand”.

Allen, who now lives on Henshaw Street, Oldham, was also given a 12-month community order, 20 rehabilitation requirement days, a 12-week curfew and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.