WIMBLINGTON: RSPCA inspectors remove rabbits, mice, hens, rabbits, guinea pigs and cats

EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY Photos: BRIAN PURDY HOUSING chiefs forced entry to a terraced house in Wimblington today to remove over 30 pets which had been left by their owner without food or water. RSPCA inspectors removed two rats, three mice, nine cats

EXCLUSIVE

By JOHN ELWORTHY

Photos: BRIAN PURDY

HOUSING chiefs forced entry to a terraced house in Wimblington today to remove over 30 pets which had been left by their owner without food or water.


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RSPCA inspectors removed two rats, three mice, nine cats, seven hens, two rabbits, two guinea pigs, a cockatiel, two budgies and four hamsters from the house in March Road.

The householder, Claire McPherson, was nowhere to be seen and left the house on Sunday with her two children and has not been seen since.

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Nearby residents raised the alarm after realising Ms McPherson had left the animals unattended. They said they were worried about the condition which the RSPCA would find them in.

A police officer stood guard as RSPCA officials began the task of documenting all the animals that were left in the house- some kept in an upstairs room, some in the bathroom- and then ferried them to safety in two vans and a car.

The rescue operation took several hours and inspectors were hunting for a corn snake which Ms McPherson was known to own.

Roddons Housing Association- who manage the former Fenland Council housing stock- posted a notice on the front door of the house notifying Ms McPherson that the rear door locks had been changed.

An official RSPCA notice also informed her that the action had been taken after officials were satisfied the animals 'needs "were not being met." She has 14 days to contact the RSPCA to explain her actions after which the charity may find new homes for the animals.

Meanwhile an investigation is under way, and Roddons will be looking to see if the terms of Ms McPherson's tenancy have been breached.

Neighbours say police were called to the house on Saturday after a disturbance and that Ms McPherson, and her two sons, left the following morning.

They said it was the latest incident in a series which has seen police turn up at the house- two months ago there was a dispute with a neighbour and an investigation mounted into allegations of racist language.

The unkempt garden of Ms McPherson's house was inspected for signs of the missing snake: one inspector also removed dead fish from a tank inside the house.

Ms McPherson first moved to Wimblington in 2007 after previously living in Burwell near Newmarket. One source suggested she has been in touch with police about her whereabouts - believed to be in Chatteris- but she had not returned to the house late this afternoon.

"The animals had not been fed or watered since Saturday," one local resident told me. "Many of us expressed concern and it was decided when she had not returned that someone would report her to the authorities.

"I hope Roddons force her to leave after this- I can't see how she can continue to live here after all this has happened.

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