CCTV cat woman charged with animal cruelty
Updated on 20 September 2010
The RSPCA says it will prosecute a woman who was filmed by a security camera putting a cat into a wheelie bin with causing it unnecessary suffering.
Mary Bale is also accused of failing to provide the cat with a suitable environment, contrary to the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.
The 45-year-old is due to appear before Coventry magistrates on 19 October.
The owners of four-year-old Lola had posted footage of August's incident on Facebook after the cat was apparently stranded inside the bin for 15 hours in the Stoke district of the city.
West Midlands Police handed responsibility for the investigation to the RSPCA, who interviewed the bank worker before deciding to launch a prosecution.
"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," a spokesman said.
"Ms Bale was witnessed on CCTV footage stroking a cat, then looking round and picking the cat up by the scruff of its neck before putting it in a wheelie bin, shutting the lid and walking away from the scene.
"At no point did she return.
"As criminal proceedings are now active, the RSPCA will not be issuing any further statements until the conclusion of the court case."
The CCTV film was broadcast around the world, and sparked outrage from some animal lovers.
Ms Bale later apologised, and described her actions as "completely out of character".