20 May 2022

A 33-year-old Midwest woman has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving a kitten locked in her unit without access to food or water for several days.

An RSPCA inspector attended the property in Bluff Point, Geraldton, after receiving a report of an abandoned kitten. She heard a kitten crying and saw a 10- to 12-week-old tortoiseshell cat pacing back and forth in front of an upstairs window.

The inspector was unsuccessful in contacting the unit’s occupant so obtained a warrant to enter the premises, which she did with the help of a locksmith.

When she went inside, the inspector saw there was no food or water available to the kitten upstairs. In the kitchen downstairs, there was an empty can of tuna with a small opening sitting on the bench, an ice-cream container of spoiled milk on the floor, and the tap was slowly flowing into the sink.

The kitchen bench was around one metre high, and the inspector determined that the kitten was too young to be able to jump up on to it to access the water and, even if it could, its head was too big to fit into the hole in the tuna can.

The kitten was seized and taken to a local vet who determined she was dehydrated and underweight. She has since made a full recovery and is being looked after by an RSPCA foster carer.

The alleged offender has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The RSPCA will allege that the kitten was not provided with proper and sufficient food and water.  

The cruelty charge carries a maximum penalty of a $50,000 fine and five years in prison and will be heard in the Geraldton Magistrates Court on 2 June 2022.

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.