Pierce County prosecutors have filed two felony counts of first-degree animal cruelty against a woman who allegedly let two kittens starve to death.
Rachel Dudley, 25, is to be in court Friday for arraignment.
“Animal cruelty is a particularly sad and offensive crime,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said this morning. “We vigorously prosecute these crimes just as we do violent crimes against persons.”
Here’s part of press release Lindquist’s office released on the charging decision:
On March 28, 2012, the manager of the apartment where the defendant lived performed an occupancy check. The defendant, who lived alone, appeared to have moved out, but there were two kittens inside the apartment, alive and meowing. The manager called the defendant, who was staying with her mother at the time. The defendant said she would come and take care of her kittens.
On April 6, the manager again checked inside the apartment. She found one of the kittens was deceased; the other was emaciated and staggered when it walked. The manager gave the surviving kitten food and water and called Tacoma Animal Control. The kittens were transported by Animal Control to the Humane Society.
A veterinarian examined the kittens. The dead kitten had suffered from a severe respiratory infection, but the cause of death was chronic starvation. The kitten likely suffered considerably before death. The live kitten was severely dehydrated and had to be euthanized two days later. Both kittens had a body score of 1, the worst possible. The defendant told animal control officers that she had last been to the apartment around March 6 or 7. She explained she was going through a bad breakup with her boyfriend and didn’t think about the kittens. When asked how she thought the kittens died, the defendant stated, “They probably starved to death.”