27 Jan 2015

Cats must go, woman told

6:10 pm on 27 January 2015

An Invercargill woman with 37 cats has been told by the Invercargill District Court she must get rid of all but three of them.

Averill Gardiner had denied two charges relating to a revised number of 25 cats.

One charge was breaching an Invercargill City Council bylaw by failing to comply with a notice ordering a reduced number of cats and another was allowing her cats to become a nuisance.

Judge David Saunders today ruled Gardiner must reduce the number of cats at her home to three, and fined her $400. She was also ordered to pay court costs and solicitors' fees totalling $880.

Gardiner's lawyer, Simon Claver, told Checkpoint the woman was "not happy" with the ruling.

"I don't think I'm understating it when I say she's absolutely devastated. From her perspective, she is being told to give up her family, or most of it."

The case attracted controversy earlier when Invercargill City Council's chief executive suggested the cats could be caught in traps.

He later backed away from those remarks.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs