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Abandoning kittens ‘cowardly act’ says SPCA

Thursday, 11 February, 2016

HuraPauline Hura, 59, was convicted today in the Hamilton District Court on one count of deserting an adult cat and seven kittens in circumstances in which no provision was made to meet their physical, health, and behavioural needs.

Hura abandoned her eight cats when she moved out of her home, leaving them behind with no food, water, or anyone to care for them.

The defendant was sentenced to 120 hours community service, disqualified from owning animals for 2 years, and ordered to pay $157.03 in reparations and $200 towards legal fees.

“This is a story we see far too often at the SPCA in which someone moves out of a property and simply abandons their animals to their fate,” says Ric Odom, CEO of SPCA New Zealand.

“It’s a horrible, cowardly act that we regard as absolutely abhorrent. When you own an animal you are responsible for their welfare for their whole lives – even when it’s a bit inconvenient for you.

“We understand that sometimes circumstances may change and people can no longer keep their animals. But it is the pet owner’s responsibility to rehome their pets.

“If you move house and can’t be bothered taking your animals with you, you can’t simply leave them behind to starve or we will prosecute you.”

In this case, the defendant abandoned several animals on 16 March 2015 at an Avalon Drive, Hamilton address: one adult cat, four four-month-old kittens, and three eight-week-old kittens.

The animals were discovered and rescued by an SPCA Inspector almost a month later.

A veterinary examination revealed two of the kittens had maggot-infested holes where their tails should have been, a congenital condition that results in the absence of tail vertebrae. Due to the resultant urinary and faecal incontinence, which could not be resolved, both were euthanised on humane grounds.

A further two of the kittens were suffering from conjunctivitis and received treatment. Four of the kittens were below ideal weight. All the animals were suffering from a flea burden.

After vet treatment and care from the SPCA, the remaining five kittens and the adult cat recovered and have now all been adopted to loving homes.