Two kittens died due to neglect by Thetford owner, court hears

One of the kittens that was neglected by an owner in Thetford.

One of the kittens that was neglected by an owner in Thetford. - Credit: Contributed

A woman has been fined and banned from keeping animals after neglecting a mother cat and four kittens - two of which died.

Carla Ramos, of St John's Way, Thetford, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court yesterday over her treatment of a cat and four six-week-old kittens in June last year.

They had been suffering with cat flu and serious eye problems, but Ramos, 23, who admitted the charges, had not taken them to the vets.

Following intervention by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the animals were taken for medical help, but nothing could be done for two of the kittens and they had to be put down.

Talking of these two kittens, Jonathan Eales, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, described how one had a ruptured eye ball and the other eye was likely to rupture in the future, and the other was also blind and was constantly rubbing its eyes.

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The mother cat and one of the kittens were in a reasonable condition, the court heard.

Malcolm Plummer, mitigating, said Ramos had taken the pregnant cat in as it had been left by a Portuguese couple, but she was putting off taking it to the vets until she got paid.

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He said: 'I think her problem was she waited too long. It's as simple as that. I think she's a genuinely caring person, but she fell foul of the time factor.'

He added: 'This is neglect, not cruelty, [and over] a reasonably short time. The vet had to estimate how long the kittens had been suffering. I think the shortest period was two days.'

In sentencing, Susan Hughes, chair of the bench, said the cat had 'suffered quite clearly,' and added: 'You have a responsibility to the animals you keep and if you cannot afford to take them to the vets you shouldn't be keeping them.'

Ramos was fined £225 and ordered to pay £800 costs and a £22 victim surcharge. She was also banned from keeping animals for the next three years.

The court heard Ramos had also come to the attention of the RSPCA in 2011 when they intervened in respect of five kittens, but there was no prosecution.

After the hearing, RSPCA inspector David Podmore said: 'This was a case of extreme neglect which very sadly led to the deaths of two of the kittens. They simply were not given the care they needed or deserved and were left to suffer without treatment.

'Thankfully, the mother and the other two kittens made a good recovery though and have now been rehomed.

'These deaths could easily have been avoided with a bit of veterinary care earlier on. We would also urge people to remember how important it is to neuter cats to prevent unwanted litters of kittens like this, which then end up suffering and being neglected as owners cannot care for them.'

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