Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
These images show the “flat of horrors” covered “in urine and faeces” where 23 cats were found in poor health and with tumours on their bodies after the owner moved to a caravan 50 metres away.
The shocking images were taken by the ‘Alliance pour le respect et la protection des animaux’ (ARPA; the ‘Alliance for the Respect and Protection of Animals’) in the southern French city of Nice, the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera.
With the help of two other organisation, ‘Assistochat’ and the ‘Association justice pour les animaux (‘Justice for Animals Association’), ARPA discovered 23 cats that were “starving, thirsty, and left to their own devices”.
Anne-Marie David, the director of ARPA, told local TV channel France 3 Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur, who broke the story: “This situation has been going on for about five years. The tenant does not live in this apartment, he lives in a caravan 50 metres from here, he comes once a week to feed the animals.”
The associations moved in after being alerted by neighbours. According to French newspaper Ouest France, ARPA spoke of “a foul-smelling and unsanitary apartment” with “a floor covered with urine and excrement from which a pestilential odour was emanating.”
The association said on Facebook that it will file a complaint of “aggravated mistreatment” against the owner of the abandoned animals.
Newsflash contacted ARPA and Anne Marie David said: “The cats are not doing so well. Many have ailments, many tumours, very serious for some, and they have psychologically resigned themselves to their fate and display a fearful attitude.”
She added that “the tenant of the apartment, the owner of the cats, lives in a caravan because he is the subject of an eviction order and it is way too dirty for him!!”
She said they will file a complaint through their lawyer, who will contact the prosecutor’s office directly, but she said that while “he faces [up to] three years in prison and a 30,000-EUR (27,200-GBP) fine”, it was unlikely that “such a sanction would ever be applied”.
David said that on the plus side, ARPA had had “a lot of adoption requests” but she added that she “must first give priority to the cats’ health.”
ARPA is also appealing to find host families for the 23 cats in the Alpes-Maritimes department, telling France 3 that the costs of food and veterinarian treatment will be covered by the associations. Interested parties can contact ARPA on 0033 (0)4 93 26 29 70 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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