A CARDENDEN woman has been sentenced to a 10-year ban on owning or keeping animals.

Patricia Steven, of Carden Avenue, also now has a restriction of liberty order for 108 days following an investigation by the Scottish SPCA.

The 53-year-old was sentenced to failing to provide adequate nutrition and the necessary veterinary treatment for a chronic skin condition and flea infestation for her two dogs, Shadow and Cordy, at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Tuesday, October 18.

Steven was also sentenced to failing to provide a safe environment by housing 11 cats and kittens in her attic and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of an animal were met in relation to an adult corn snake who was underweight.

Scottish SPCA inspector, Stephanie Ross, said, “On 5 November 2020, we attended Patricia Steven’s property in response to concerns for two dogs and a number of cats and kittens.

“Steven was continually uncooperative and she claimed the animals were no longer at the property, despite multiple credible witnesses reporting their concerns.

“A warrant was executed to search the property on 23rd November 2020. Due to Steven’s hostile nature, Police Scotland assisted Scottish SPCA inspectors.

“We went up the stairs and immediately saw an open hatch on the ceiling leading to the attic where a group of cats and kittens were being kept. We were concerned that the felines could have fallen from this height and become injured.

“The loft was partially floored and very unsafe. There was lots of exposed insulation and the cats were covered in this material.

“The cats were scratching themselves incessantly. They appeared distressed and were behaving erratically.

“We found two dogs living in filthy conditions in the kitchen. Shadow, an elderly black Labrador, was lying in amongst rubbish bags. He was emaciated with very prominent hair loss down his back and legs.

“Cordy, a white Staffordshire bull terrier type dog, was frantically foraging in the bin bags looking for food. She was also emaciated and had an obvious skin complaint, with hair loss, and thickened areas on her back.

“A corn snake was also found living in a makeshift enclosure in a living room cabinet.

“All animals were removed from the property. A vet confirmed both dogs were severely malnourished and underweight. They also confirmed both dogs were suffering from a severe flea infestation and ear infections. Shadow also had inflammation and infection in both eyes.

“The cats were taken to one of our animal rescue and rehoming centres where they were treated immediately for their severe flea infestation. Most of the cats had varying degrees of flea allergy dermatitis. Some cats had hair loss and some areas of scabs.

“One of the cats, Fred, required dental treatment and was found to have a grade four heart murmur.

“We are pleased that Steven has been banned from owning or keeping animals for 10 years and received a restriction of liberty order.

“The issues her pets were suffering from could have been easily prevented and we hope she’ll carefully consider her ability to care for any animal in future.

“Sadly, Shadow had to be euthanised on welfare grounds, but Cordy and the 11 cats have since gone on to find new homes.

“Our thanks go to Police Scotland for their assistance.

“If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”