A woman has been banned from looking after animals for life after being found guilty of 15 charges of animal cruelty.
Eileen Colman, of St Mary’s Crescent, Wyke, Bradford, faced the series of charges under the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, including 12 of failing to ensure the needs of animals in her care were met.
A collection of 28 creatures seized by the RSPCA from her flat included cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, a hamster and a ferret. The three other charges related to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and two hamsters.
The charges of causing unnecessary suffering alleged Colman failed to get veterinary care for a dog with conjunctivitis, a hamster with neurological problems and another hamster with dermatitis and inflamed skin.
In addition to the lifetime disqualification order, Colman, who broke down and swore repeatedly during her court appearance, was also handed a three-year conditional discharge.
The 62-year-old was sentenced at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
But chairman of Magistrates Ros Seton, said she would not be ordered to pay any court costs “due to her means”.
Colman, who pleaded guilty to all 15 charges, also produced a petition of signatures from neighbours claiming she was a caring person.
All of the offences were alleged to have taken place last year.
A previous hearing was adjourned last month after Colman turned up to court inappropriately dressed in a sports bra and hot-pants. Colman had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing.
Nigel Monaghan, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said a further 24 animals had been seized from Colman’s address: “Miss Colman has been known to the RSPCA for a number of years.
“She has got more and more animals.We are not saying that she deliberately set out to be cruel to animals.”
Raj Kumar, defending, said Colman was not cruel to the animals she kept but instead was guilty of being too caring for taking more and more into her home.
He said: “She was doing her best for the animals. She is a caring person.
“The animals have accumulated and she cares for them so much. She just wants to take them in.
“She had all of the best intentions to take them in.”