KITTENS were heard meowing inside a charity clothes bin at a shopping centre were later rescued and given to a cat charity, a court has heard.
Solicitor Eugene Murphy said Evelina Satlenyte, 40, of Palm View, Lackenareague, Ovens, had pleaded guilty to three charges, each stating that on May 17th last year at Douglas Court shopping centre, she did neglect and cause unnecessary suffering and endanger to the welfare of a young kitten.
Mr Murphy said the Lithuanian woman has been working in Ireland for 15 years without a difficulty of any kind. ‘Quite frankly, she is mortified. She has put in 12 months of torture in relation to waiting for the case and has felt the shame visited upon her when this was discussed on a radio show,’ he said.
‘She is an animal lover who did the wrong thing.
She is a softly spoken person who is beyond apologetic about what happened,’ he said.
Inspector Adrian Gamble said that on May 18th Garda Marie Courtney attended at the shopping centre near the clothes bins, where a number of kittens were heard inside one of the bins.
‘After a period of time, and with the assistance of the charity in question, the bin was opened to find three kittens therein. The kittens were immediately handed over to a member of Cat Action Trust,’ said Insp Gamble.
From enquiries carried out and from CCTV footage, Garda Courtney identified and met with the defendant and she admitted to dumping the three kittens in the charity bin.
‘She said her cat, who had the kittens, had been killed and the kittens wouldn’t feed for her and she panicked and dumped them in the bin,’ Insp Gamble said.
It was accepted that the defendant had been in a relationship which ended around that time and she failed to deal properly with the kittens.
Mr Murphy, solicitor, said she had paid €500 to the ISPCA as a gesture.
He said that she placed the kittens in a blanket in a shoebox.
She was working six days a week and literally could not look after the kittens.
‘She was hoping they would be heard and taken away. She accepts that is a fairy story. She was going to leave the country over this. I was genuinely worried about her and told her that – whatever about the legal situation – she should seek medical advice,’ he said.
Acknowledging the plea of guilty, absence of previous convictions, total remorse and payment of €500 to the ISPCA, the judge gave the accused the benefit of a dismissal under the Probation of Offenders Act.
Mr Murphy said the offences carried what are termed Class A fines, meaning there is a maximum of €5,000 that cannot be mitigated below €4,000 if convicted.
The solicitor said that the case before the court was not the kind of one envisaged by the legislature when providing for such penalties.