Man kept cat in 'worst housing conditions animal welfare inspector had seen'

A warrant has been issued for William Waddell's arrest after he failed to turn up for sentencing at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

William Waddell kept pet cat in ‘worst housing conditions animal welfare inspector had seen’ SNS Group
Warrant: William Waddell failed to appear in court for sentencing.

A man who kept his cat in the worst housing conditions an animal welfare inspector had ever witnessed has a warrant out for his arrest.

William Waddell’s pet Cheeky had to be put down after being discovered at the property in Sandyhills, Glasgow on August 7, 2020.

Cheeky was found severely malnourished and suffering from an ulcerated lesion tumour in her mouth that was unable to be treated.

The Scottish SPCA were alerted on two separate occasions about the possible mistreatment of the cat due to the smell coming from the house.

The pet owner later told officers that things “got on top of him” but believed Cheeky was “okay.”

Waddell, 62, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to causing Cheeky unnecessary suffering and failing to provide adequate care.

Waddell, now of the city’s Springboig, was due to be sentenced on Thursday but did not turn up at the allocated time.

John Paul Gallagher, defending, said: “It’s unfortunate he is not here at the time given.

“He said he got his times mixed up and I presume he is 15 minutes away – I accept it’s unfortunate that he isn’t here.”

Sheriff John McCormick stated that he told Waddell that he is known for calling his cases “promptly” before issuing the warrant. 

An earlier hearing was told that an investigation began in October 2019 after a member of the public complained about Waddell’s property.

It was stated that there was a “strong smell” emanating from it as well as a swarm of flies.

It was discovered that the smell from the property was so bad that it entered the neighbouring pub.

Scottish SPCA inspector Stacey Erwin attended the property on several occasions but was met with no response.

She spotted that there was rubbish and debris at the doorway which prompted “abandonment proceedings.”

This included putting notice tags on the door and lock of the property alerting that the Scottish SPCA were investigating.

But, these tags remained intact and were ignored by Waddell.

The Scottish SPCA contacted Waddell’s landlord who confirmed that he lived at the property with his cat.

Unfortunately, the landlord did not want to get involved in the proceedings as he was a “good tenant.”

The matter then escalated to the chief inspector at the Scottish SPCA.

Waddell’s property was reported for a second time in August 2020 as he had been remanded in custody for a separate matter.

Inspector Erwin was later afforded entry into the property by Waddell’s brother Raymond who had been leaving food at the door for Cheeky in the meantime.

Raymond stated that he did not want to enter due to the “unsanitary conditions.”

Inspector Erwin found Cheeky who was “filthy” and wrongly believed to be all black in colour.

Cheeky was later found to be a black and white cat.

Prosecutor Aimee Doran said: “The inspector was most concerned about how dirty Cheeky was.

“She found it challenging to enter the property due to the volume of waste on the floor.

“The inspector made the comment that it was the worst living conditions she had ever witnessed in her career.”

Cheeky was taken to a vet where she was reported to be “extremely thin and bony, weighing 2.5 kilograms.”

The cat also had inflamed skin as well as an ulcerated lesion linked to a tumour “which would have been painful for her.”

Cheeky initially responded well to her surgery but her lesion treatment was not successful and a decision was made to put her down on welfare grounds.

Waddell was interviewed by police who told officers that he owned Cheeky for 13 years and had never visited a vet.

Ms Doran said: “He said he was struggling for about three years to keep up with things.

“He said apart from her fur being dirty, he thought Cheeky was okay.”