UK animal welfare group prosecutes woman who threw cat into bin

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Map of England with West Midlands highlighted in red.

A woman who was recorded throwing a cat into an outdoor rubbish bin has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty. 45-year-old Mary Bale, from Coventry, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom, was recorded on a security camera allegedly giving the tabby cat — Lola, aged four — a stroking and looking at her surroundings before taking the animal and dumping it into the wheelie bin before walking away from the scene.

The cat was discovered in the bin fifteen hours later by her owners, 24-year-old Stephanie Andrews-Mann and her husband, 26-year-old Darryl. She appeared to be unharmed. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — otherwise known by the abbreviation RSPCA — have now brought charges against Mary Bale under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Judith Haw, a spokesperson for the RSPCA, has stated: "The RSPCA has taken the case to court as two alleged offences have been committed: of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat and of not providing the animal with a suitable environment. As criminal proceedings are now active the RSPCA will not be issuing any further statements or completing interview requests until conclusion of the court case."

Having received a court summons from the RSPCA on Sunday, Bale is anticipated to make an appearance at Coventry Magistrates Court on October 19, 2010 at 1000 BST (0900 UTC). Bale had previously released a public apology. "I cannot explain why I did this," it read. "It is completely out of character and I certainly did not intend to cause any distress to Lola or her owners."

In a video available on Sky News Online Stephanie Andrews-Mann spoke about this incident and explained that "we thought it was probably someone coming from a night in the pub that thought it'd be hilarious to put a cat in the bin. We didn't expect to find what it was we found." When asked what she thought about the woman who committed this act, Stephanie commented: "I don't know. I don't know what could possibly go through her head to want to put a cat in a bin." Stephanie's husband Darryl explained: "It was basically after we'd found Lola in the bin that we played back the video footage and seen, obviously, what had gone on, what had happened." Describing this act, he expressed: "I think it's disgusting. I don't know how anyone could treat, um, a harmless animal that can't defend itself, just do something like that to it."


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