53-cat couple convicted of cruelty

A Swedish couple have been convicted of animal cruelty after 53 cats, at least half of which were said to be neglected, were found in their Stockholm house.

Several dead felines were also found in the garage, along with a small kitten that could only use its front legs.

Inspectors reported that most of the animals they came across stunk of urine and were malnourished or neglected in some way. The district court could not prove, however, that the couple intended to torment the cats.

The pair both denied the allegations, with the man claiming that most of the cats had been let into the house by visitors and did not belong to them. “It is drivel that we have owned 53 cats,” he allegedly told interrogators at the time.

“It was a serious offence,” prosecutor Ida Arnell told the Metro newspaper. She added that she was happy with the verdict, even though the couple only received probationary sentences and small fines. “Although it was a serious offence I didn’t really think that a prison sentence was necessary,” Arnell said.