Area residents had reported her to authorities after noticing foul odors coming out of her villa, which was also infested with flies. Abu Dhabi Police found 40 cats in her home, all malnourished and in poor health. One cats was found dead. “The cats were found crammed in a small place and in a manner that would not allow them to move freely.
“The place was also dirty with cat feces scattered everywhere,” said authorities. Subsequent medical examination showed that the cats suffered from fever, had intestinal worms and skin rashes that required urgent treatment.
Officials stated that the Arab woman had been rounding up cats and keeping them in her villa. She would then sell them to people without having a commercial permit. She was detained, and ordered to pay a fine for mistreating the pets and “denying them freedom”. Prosecutors also ordered that all the cats be transferred to the Emirates Wildlife Center for proper treatment and care.
The woman denied mistreating the cats, saying that raising and selling them was her hobby and that she has been keeping pets for over 40 years. She told the court that she loved pets and that she only gathered them so she could take good care of them and provide them with food.
The Abu Dhabi Appeal Court, however, found her guilty on all charges. She was fined and ordered to be deported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to UAE law on domestic animals, anyone who harms, mistreats pets, denies them food and healthcare or keeps them in a poor environment that can harm them or restrict their free movement and other related violations, faces a penalty including an imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and/or a fine of not more than USD $55. And then there’s the risk of deportation.
Kudos to the situationally-aware neighbors who phoned this in to the police.