Wolverhampton widow facing court action over 17 cats

An animal-loving Wolverhampton pensioner is preparing to go to court to keep hold of her beloved pet cats, as it was revealed that council bosses are stepping up their bid to remove 12 of them from her home.

Jane Bood lost an appeal against Wolverhampton City Council’s order that she cut the number of cats in her home from 17 to five.

The council said it was acting following complaints from her neighbours about the number of pets at her home in Lower Prestwood Road, Wednesfield.

In 2010 the widow had 27, sparking a 50-name petition, but has not been replacing any that have died. The remaining 17 are said to have been neutered.

But the council said that having any more than five was a breach of the planning permission for her home.

A planning inspector upheld the council’s decision last year. The council’s planning committee will now hold a meeting behind closed doors on Tuesday to decide how to enforce its decision.

Mrs Bood’s niece Helen Lowbridge, who speaks on the 65-year-old’s behalf, said: “Jane has received a letter stating the council wishes to set up a meeting to arrange the removal of all but five of her cats. Our position remains the same. As there is no statute or judicial precedent on the number of cats that can be kept I am prepared to go to court over this matter.”

Nick Edwards, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said: “We continue to explore all options available to us to remedy this difficult situation as soon as possible.

“As we have done throughout the whole process, we will offer support and assistance to Mrs Bood and her family while balancing the interests of neighbours who are affected by the cats. Our aim remains to resolve this in a sensitive and sympathetic manner.”