Kittens hurt after couple used human medicine to treat them, court hears

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A couple who gave human medicines to seven cats with flu and tried to treat a kitten’s fractured leg using bathing salts have been disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

Susannah Self 26 and Magno Sousa 26 both of Grange Road, Retford, appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday 7 November) to be sentenced.

They were found guilty of three animal welfare offences following a trial in October.

The court heard that the RSPCA received an anonymous phone call in June this year from someone who was concerned about the welfare of seven cats at the property.

This led to RSPCA Inspector Daniel Bradshaw to attend the house, where he found six kittens and their mother, Bandit, suffering from cat flu.

One of the kittens also had a broken leg which Self and Sousa had been treating by bathing him in epsom salts after searching on the Internet for advice on “how to heal a kitten’s leg”.

Inspector Bradshaw took the cats to a vet to be examined. Sadly, the kitten with the broken leg was put to sleep as the vet did not think that he would survive an operation due to the cat flu.

Self and Sousa had been treating the cats with flu with eye drops and cream commonly used for humans suffering from conjunctivitis.

As a result, one kitten had to have an eye removed.

The surviving kittens have since been rehomed by the RSPCA’s Radcliffe branch. Bandit has also made a good recovery and will now be available for rehoming through the branch, after the court ordered her to be signed over to the RSPCA’s care.

Inspector Bradshaw said: “The reason why Self and Sousa treated the cats themselves was because they didn’t have the money to pay for vet bills, but as a result of the treatment the animals sadly continued to suffer.

“A visit to a vet would have reduced this suffering significantly.

“Sadly we see it all too often, animals suffering because their owner cannot afford vet bills. However, many vets offer payment plans and their are plenty of animal charities, ourselves included, who will offer free advice if contacted.

“We would never advise to follow information from the internet without speaking to a veterinary professional first.”

As well as the disqualification order, they were each given a 12-month community order, a six-week curfew and have been ordered to pay costs of £450 each and an £85 victim surcharge.