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Ban To Have Pets For French Couple With 159 Cats In Home

A French couple has been handed a one-year suspended sentence for subjecting numerous animals to cruel conditions in their residence.

Hailing from Nice, the couple confined 159 cats and seven dogs within their 80-square-meter (861-square-foot) apartment.

Authorities discovered the animals last year dwelling in squalor, with many suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, or infestations of parasites.

The presiding judge remarked that the couple had neglected their duty to adequately care for the animals.

The duo, consisting of a 68-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man, also received a permanent prohibition on pet ownership. Additionally, they were instructed to pay over €150,000 (£128,000) to animal welfare organizations and other parties involved.

Police were prompted to investigate the couple’s residence last year following a disturbance, revealing a multitude of animals crammed into every available space, amid pervasive filth and excrement.

Tragically, several of the cats and dogs perished due to their dire health conditions. Investigators even discovered the remains of at least two cats and two dogs in a bathroom.

During court proceedings, the apartment’s owner expressed that the animals held immense significance in her life but conceded to having “messed up.” She initially took in her parents’ three cats and three dogs in 2018 before relocating around 30 cats from an abandoned building to her apartment, where they subsequently bred.

She expressed a sentiment of feeling “abandoned” herself if she were to abandon the animals.

A psychiatric evaluation diagnosed her with “Noah’s syndrome”—an emotional compulsion to rescue animals despite being unable to adequately care for them.

Prosecutors sought an 18-month prison term for the couple.

This isn’t the first instance of scrutiny for the couple, as they were previously under investigation in 2014 for residing in an 18-square-meter studio with 13 cats and a dog.

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