Couple banned from keeping animals after giving poorly cats human medicine

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

A couple who gave human medicine to cats suffering with flu have been banned from keeping animals for five years.

Susannah Self and Magno Sousa, both 26, were handed the ban at Mansfield Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (November 7).

The couple, who also tried to treat a kitten's fractured leg with bath salts, were found guilty of three animal welfare offences after a trial last month.

In June, the RSPCA received an anonymous phone call from someone concerned about the welfare of seven cats at the couple's home in Grange Road, Retford.

The tip-off led RSPCA Inspector Daniel Bradshaw to visit the home.

He found six kittens and their mother, Bandit, who were suffering with cat flu.

Bandit, a cat owned by Self and Sousa

Self and Sousa had been attempting to treat the cats with eye drops and cream used by humans suffering with conjunctivitus.

One of the kittens also had a broken leg, which the couple had tried treating by bathing him in epsom salts after searching the internet for advice on "how to heal a kitten's leg".

Inspector Bradshaw took the cats to the vets, where the kitten with the broken leg was put to sleep. It was feared it would not survive an operation due to cat flu.

Another of the kittens was forced to have an eye removed.

One of the kittens owned by Self and Sousa

In addition to being disqualified from keeping animals, Self and Sousa were each given a 12-month community order and a six-week curfew.

The couple have also been ordered to pay costs of £450 each and an £85 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, 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 continue to suffer.

"A visit to the vet would have reduced this suffering significantly.

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

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"We would never advise to follow information without speaking to a veterinary professional."

The surviving kittens have since been rehomed and the court ordered that Bandit be signed over to the RSPCA's care.