Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland holidaymaker left kitten locked in house without food or water

By Nevin Farrell

A woman has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years and given a £500 fine for abandoning her kitten while 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 July, 2015.

There was also a strong smell of urine and faeces in the house.

Upon veterinary advice, due to the risk of liver failure and pneumonia, the black and white kitten was then removed from the property.

Laura Gorman, age unknown, formerly of Glenfield Close and whose address was listed as Beechview Courtyard in Crumlin, Co Antrim, was found guilty of two charges at Antrim Magistrates Court on Monday.

The charges were brought against her by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

The first charge was failing to meet an animal's needs. The second was abandoning an animal - being the keeper of a kitten she abandoned it without reasonable cause at the Glenfield Close address.

Gorman pleaded not guilty.

She received a 10-year disqualification from owning and keeping any animal, 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.

Yesterday, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council issued a statement which said that Gorman was found guilty of "abandoning her kitten while she went on holiday".

The statement added: "When an animal welfare officer entered the property, under warrant, there was a strong smell of 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 then removed from the property."

The council added: "Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses.

"The council 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."

Belfast Telegraph

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