Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Holly Thacker, 34 cat put in washing machine, on boil wash cycle, dies

Norwich, England

October 2005  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date
    1 cat Convicted  

Among 2005's most horrifying cases was that of Fluffy, a cat who vets estimated would have taken up to 10 minutes to die after being put in a washing machine on the boil wash cycle.

The cat, whose body was dumped in a wheelie bin, broke all her claws trying to escape from the rotating drum.

Update 10/19/05:  A woman who killed a cat by sticking it in a washing machine on a boil setting was jailed for six weeks yesterday by Norwich magistrates. Holly Thacker, 34, from Norwich, put Fluffy the cat in the washing machine because she had scratched her and "gone wild". Thacker, who dumped Fluffy's body in a wheelie bin and told her husband what she had done in front of her daughters, aged five and 15, denied animal cruelty. Audrey Archer, defending, said Thacker and her children had been verbally abused, their home had been attacked, and they had received hate mail.

Update 7/26/06:  Fluffy the cat took up to 10 minutes to die after Thacker put the animal in the machine at her home in Hellesdon, Norwich, a court heard. Vets told the court that Fluffy was gripping to the washer's metal drum so tightly its claws broke off as it spun round. Eventually the cat drowned.

Thacker, who denied cruelty, was jailed for six weeks by Norwich magistrates.   Magistrates heard that Thacker had told her ex-husband, Simon, she had put the cat in the washing machine because it had scratched her.

She allegedly bragged: "I put it on boil wash as well." She then showed Mr. Thacker the cat's body in a plastic bag.

A report from a veterinary surgeon said the black and white cat would have struggled because its claws were frayed and broken.   Death would have been a "slow and terrifying process" taking between five and 10 minutes, he said.

The court heard Thacker, who has a baby and two daughters aged 6 and 16, had mental health problems and was on anti-depressants.

Thacker has received hate mail since the story was reported in the media, magistrates were told.

RSPCA inspector Rob Melloy said: "In the seven years I have been with the RSPCA I have never come across anything as horrendous."

Campaigners protesting against cruelty to animals gathered outside the court waving banners.  Anne Nathan, of East Anglian Animal Rights Coalition, said stricter laws and tougher jail sentences are needed to protect animals


The Guardian EDP24