Several neglected cats lying next to a door. a French couple has been banned from keeping pets
(Photo Credit: Sergio Amiti | Getty Images)

Couple With 159 Cats Permanently Banned From Keeping Pets

A French couple has been permanently banned from owning pets after 159 neglected cats and seven dogs were rescued from their home.

The 52-year-old man and his 68-year-old partner lived with the animals in their 861 sq ft (80 sq m) flat. Reports say the couple kept the animals in deplorable conditions, with investigators even discovering deceased bodies of felines and dogs in the flat.

Couple kept 159 cats and 7 dogs in their apartment in France

As per BBC News reporting, police made the heartbreaking discovery last year while responding to reports of a dispute at the couple’s flat. Authorities found dozens of dehydrated, malnourished, and parasite-stricken cats and dogs in different rooms filled with animal feces.

Court documents revealed the woman took in three felines and three dogs from her parent’s home in 2018. Thereafter, she added another 30 cats, whom she found in an abandoned building. Unfortunately, this number grew as the animals reproduced.

During the couple’s sentencing on Wednesday, Apr. 3, as per South China Morning Post reporting, the woman told the Nice Criminal Court that she had “screwed up,” and further insisted that the animals were “the love of her life.”

Court documents show that the woman underwent psychological evaluation, and psychiatrists diagnosed her with “Noah’s syndrome.” This mental condition is characterized by an abnormal need to hoard and care for animals, even when one lacks the capacity to do so.

Nonetheless, the judge found the couple “guilty of the offense of abandonment,” given the animals’ “very poor state of health.” The judge also ordered the couple to pay a total of $162,000 to animal welfare charities and animal advocacy parties.

In addition to banning the couple from keeping pets, the judge issued them a one-year suspended sentence. Initially, prosecutors had proposed that the couple spend no less than 18 months behind bars.

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