Pair banned from owning animals after kittens found with broken bones

Pair banned from owning animals after kittens found with broken bones

A man and woman from Grimsby have been convicted after they subjected two kittens to repeated acts of shocking violence.

Oliver Vatcher, 23, and Paige Smith, 25, were banned from keeping animals for five years after two kittens in their care sustained multiple broken bones which caused them “significant pain and suffering.”

On November 16, 2020, the RSPCA was called to investigate after an animal charity raised concerns for one kitten, seven-month-old Simba.

The charity said Simba was displaying a number of injuries in a short space of time – which were consistent with non-accidental injury.

She had sustained head trauma, a broken tail, a left hind femoral fracture, three fractured ribs and a possible dislocated jaw.

On January 20 last year, RSPCA inspector Thomas Hutton was also told by another vet that Simba’s sibling Nala had been admitted with similar injuries.

Concerns were raised about the circumstances surrounding the injuries and advised that Nala had three rib fractures of different ages, a canine fracture and a femoral fracture.

The court heard that Vatcher and Smith accepted that non-accidental injuries were caused to the kittens, but claimed they had not caused them and were not aware who did.

They claimed they do not believe it was each other who caused the injuries and that they “did not see” them being caused.

They both pleaded guilty to an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to two kittens by failing to prevent the infliction of multiple non-accidental injuries.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Thomas Hutton said: “The injuries sustained by both cats would have caused significant pain and suffering.

“Both kittens received treatment for their injuries and have recovered well and have since been rehomed.”

Vatcher and Smith recieved a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. Smith was also ordered to carry out 15 rehabilitation activity days and Vatcher 10 days.

They were ordered to pay £500 each in costs and disqualified from keeping all animals for five years.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.