#TheList Samantha McIntyre, born 11/04/1975, of Copse Wood, Foston Lane, Bradford BD2 3QU – abandoned a cat and three kittens to go on holiday for nine days; mother cat starved to death
McIntyre, who at the time was living in Coed Onn Road, Flint in North Wales, said she had left food out and the shower running for her pet named Lulu, and her three kittens while she went to visit her partner in Bradford.
The 44-year-old said she had only intended on being away for three days, but ended up staying longer to look after her boyfriend when he fell ill.
Meanwhile, concerned residents contacted the RSPCA reporting fears the animals had been abandoned.
Inspectors visited the property on several occasions to put food through the letterbox and sealed the front door with tape so they could see if anyone had been home.
But it was nine days before McIntyre returned, by which time Lulu had died.
A post-mortem examination revealed there was no food in her system and her death was due to malnutrition.
The three kittens were rescued by the RSPCA and are now said to be doing well.
McIntyre, who now lives permanently in Bradford, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to look after the welfare of the animals.
Glen Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said the charity had visited the address on June 28, 29 and 30, 2019, to check if the seal over the door had been broken, and to put food through the letterbox.
They had spotted an “immobile cat” and three kittens and contacted housing officers to get them to alert the tenant.
When they finally reached her, McIntyre told the RSPCA she’d given her ex-partner permission to enter the property and feed the cats but when he was traced, he said they had cut ties and he didn’t even know she was away.
When police eventually gained entry to the house, they found no food out for the cats and the shower running in the wet room.
The court heard McIntyre had been away from June 21 to 30, 2018.
Melissa Griffiths, defending said she was suffering with mental health problems at the time and with a 21-month-old baby and a vulnerable teenager to look after, as well as her sick partner, and was “stretched in too many directions.”
“She is extremely shaken up and ashamed to be before the court for the first time and understands this is an extremely serious matter…she was just stretched in too many directions.”
Magistrates said they considered the level of neglect to be “extreme” causing the cats “considerable suffering.”
Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months; 12-month community order of 180 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £622 costs. Banned from keeping animals for two years.