Father failed to feed cats and kittens

A WESTON father has pleaded guilty to failing to properly feed and home two cats and four five-week-old kittens - because he ‘had no money for petrol’.

At North Somerset Courthouse on February 8, Tom Spencer, of Exford Close, admitted two charges of failing to ensure the animals were provided with a suitable diet and not providing them with a hygienic environment.

The 24-year-old was keeping two female cats and the four kittens at a property in Wooton-under-Edge in South Gloucestershire while living in Highbridge with his girlfriend.

Gaynor Sutton, prosecuting, said the property had no food or water for the animals from August 7-10 and the RSPCA vet said if they had not been removed they would have suffered.

Ms Sutton said the mother cat was in the worst condition as she was feeding the kittens and the other adult cat had to scavenge though bin bags and hunt for food.

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Sarah Turland, mitigating, told the court that while Spencer was living in Highbridge he would drive to the property, usually late at night, to leave food and water for the animals.

She said: “He did not abandon these animals to their fate. For the period of three days he could not go back because he had no money for petrol. It wasn’t deliberate and he was very worried about them.

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“His care fell short for those three days and this is the consequence.”

Spencer, who lives with his girlfriend and their four children, had owned the adult cats for two-and-a-half years. This was the third litter.

Ms Turland said: “Until he moved away there was no difficulty with these animals. He did take genuine steps to get these cats and kittens re-homed. He made contact with a sanctuary in Gloucestershire but they were not taking any new cats or kittens at the time because of a virus.

“He was asked why he did not take them to the RSPCA, but he can’t give any particular answer and he is sorry for not doing so.”

Spencer was given an 18-month community order by chairman of the bench Steve Semple. He was also ordered to attend a Thinking Skills programme for 30 days and ordered to obey a three-month curfew from 7pm-7am.

Spencer has been disqualified from owning or keeping animals for five years and was ordered to pay a contribution of �1,000 for prosecution costs.

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