A man and a woman have been banned from keeping animals for three years, after four cats were found living in squalor at a house in Clifton, Nottingham.

Tony Peck (DOB 18/5/76) and Helen Peck (DOB 7/4/66), both of Southchurch Drive, Clifton, were sentenced on Friday (11 May) after pleading guilty to three Animal Welfare Act offences – one of causing unnecessary suffering to the four cats by failing to treat flea infestation, and two of failing to meet the cats’ needs by failing to provide a suitable environment and by failing to provide adequate parasitic control.

The court heard that the RSPCA was contacted by a member of the public, who raised concerns about the conditions the cats were living in.

A warrant was obtained by the police after the RSPCA was unable to gain access to the property to check on the animals’ welfare. When RSPCA inspector Susan Hammond and the police entered the house, in Southchurch Drive, on 18 January this year, she was shocked at the conditions.

Inspector Hammond said: “Two of the cats were in one bedroom, and the remaining two were in a separate bedroom – both rooms had faeces and urine everywhere and the smell was incredibly strong.

“One of the rooms had approximately 300 empty cat food tins in it, and it is lucky that these tins didn’t injure the cats. There were flies everywhere and the cats were riddled with fleas. The conditions they were living in were far from ideal – not only was it filled with rubbish, but there was little ventilation and light.

“Both Tony and Helen Peck knew that the cats had fleas but rather than seeking veterinary treatment, they tried to treat this themselves using lemon juice and olive oil – an idea they had got from the internet.

“Keeping animals in these conditions is not acceptable, nor is it OK to try and treat your pets yourself using advice from the internet instead of taking them to a vet. These poor cats were covered in fleas and suffered as a result.”

The four cats – tortoiseshell Minnie, tabby Hettie, ginger cat Ollie and cream cat Logan – have now been signed into the RSPCA’s care, where they will be put up for rehoming.

Whilst they have been banned from keeping animals for three years, the magistrates gave Tony and Helen Peck permission to keep two budgies.