A woman has been banned from keeping animals for ten years and hit with a £500 fine for abandoning her kitten whilst she went on holiday.
An animal welfare officer entered a property under warrant at Glenfield Close in Crumlin and found the four month old kitten with empty water and food bowls in mid-summer.
There was a strong smell of urine and faeces evident and upon veterinary advice, due to the risk of liver failure, the kitten was removed from the property.
Laura Gorman, whose age is unknown, formerly of Glenfield Close and whose address was listed on the court summons as Beechview Courtyard in Crumlin, was found guilty at Antrim Magistrates Court.
She received a ten-year disqualification from owning and keeping any animal and participating in the keeping of any animal and being party to any arrangement under which she could control or influence the way in which any animal was being kept.
The charges were brought against her by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
According to the Courts Service Gorman had pleaded not guilty and was convicted on two charges. The first charge relating to July 26, 2015, was failing to meet an animal’s needs with the particulars of the charge being that being the keeper of a kitten she failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animal at Glenfield Close.
The second charge was ‘abandoning an animal’ and the particulars of that charge were that being the keeper of a kitten she abandoned it without reasonable cause at the address in Glenfield Close.
The charges related to a small black and white kitten, approximately four months old.
After the court case, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council issued a statement to ‘Ballymena Daily’ today which said Gorman was found guilty of ‘abandoning her kitten whilst she went on holiday’.
The statement added: ‘When an Animal Welfare Officer entered the property, under warrant, there was a strong smell urine and faeces evident, further empty water and food bowls were noted.
‘Upon veterinary advice, due to the risk of liver failure with the kitten having not eaten and also a risk of pneumonia due to the poor ventilation, the kitten was removed from the property’.
The council statement did not give a name for the kitten.
A Council spokeswoman said: “Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.
“Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of Improvement Notices, or in extreme cases, seizure of animals.
“The Council may also prosecute for offences such as in this case which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals”.