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Woman charged with dumping cat in bin

A woman who was caught on CCTV dumping a cat in a wheelie bin has been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the animal, the RSPCA said today.

Mary Bale, 45, has also been charged with failing to provide the cat with a suitable environment, contrary to the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, an RSPCA spokesman said.

Bank worker Bale, of St Michael's Road, Coventry, will appear before magistrates in the city on October 19 to answer the charges.

Footage of Bale throwing the four-year-old tabby, named Lola, into the bin sparked outrage and made international headlines, with some animal lovers calling for her death on social networking site Facebook.

It also led to an investigation by the RSPCA, which interviewed Bale and sent a file on the case for review by its prosecutions department.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: "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.

"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."

It is understood that the cat was trapped in the bin for approximately 15 hours, although it was not physically injured.

In a statement released to the media shortly after the incident in August, Bale said she was profoundly sorry for her actions, describing them as a split second of misjudgment.

Bale's statement read: "I want to take this opportunity to apologise profusely for the upset and distress that my actions have caused.

"I cannot explain why I did this. It is completely out of character and I certainly did not intend to cause any distress to Lola or her owners."