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Thursday, December 7, 2023

$2,500 fine and pet ban for woman who left starving kitten locked in unit

A woman who left a kitten locked inside her Geraldton unit without food or water for up to two weeks, has been fined $2,500 and banned from owning animals for two years.

The kitten (pictured), now renamed Abby, was reported to RSPCA WA in June last year. When an inspector attended the Karloo address, the kitten, who looked to be about 14 weeks old, could be seen poking her head through gaps in the front door’s security screen.

“The inspector noted Abby appeared underweight and was meowing loudly. He was able to provide fresh water and food through the screen door and the kitten ate hungrily,” RSPCA WA said in a statement today.

“Following several attempts to contact the offender via phone, the inspector obtained a warrant to enter the address, which he did with help from a locksmith.”

The inspector noted it looked like nobody was living at the unit, and that there was no food or water available for the kitten.

The kitten was seized and taken her to a nearby vet, where she was examined and found to be underweight. Abby remains in care with RSPCA WA and has made a full recovery.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager, Kylie Green said Abby was completely reliant on her owner for everything she needed.

“It’s heartbreaking to think of Abby alone for so long, searching the house for food and water,” she said.

“So many things can go wrong when pets are left without proper care for long periods. Abby is lucky to be alive today and we’re extremely grateful to the person who reported her situation to RSPCA WA.

“This case should serve as a reminder to pet owners–you must make appropriate plans for your animal’s care when you go away.

“Arrange a pet sitter, book your pet into boarding, or, at the very least, organise someone to check on them daily, ensuring they have adequate food, water, and company.”

The 37-year-old woman was charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The court found she failed to provide the kitten with proper and sufficient food or water.

Abby’s case is the mirror image of a prosecution from earlier this year in the Mid West, when a 10-week-old kitten was found inside a Bluff Point property without food or water.

The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect. Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or online here.

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