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Norwich student faces a ban on keeping animals after abandoning her cat in a cage for nearly a month

PUBLISHED: 19:57 13 September 2017

The pet cat, previously owned by Yang Xia, 28, from Norwich, who was trapped in a dog cage for nearly a month while Xia was out of the country. Xia has been found guilty of animal neglect at Norwich Magistrates' Court . Picture: RSPCA

The pet cat, previously owned by Yang Xia, 28, from Norwich, who was trapped in a dog cage for nearly a month while Xia was out of the country. Xia has been found guilty of animal neglect at Norwich Magistrates' Court . Picture: RSPCA

RSPCA

An economics student who abandoned her cat in a cage for nearly a month while visiting China could be disqualified from keeping animals.

Yang Xia, 28, of Raleigh Court, Norwich, was found guilty of two animal neglect charges at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, September 13.

These were failing to provide her cat of seven years with a suitable environment and failing to ensure the pet was provided with an adequate diet between February 19 and March 6.

Xia failed to appear for the hearing, brought by the RSPCA, but the three magistrates found her guilty of both charges based on prosecution evidence given in her absence.

The court heard the pet was discovered locked in a dog cage in her kitchen with no blankets, no food and next to a litter tray “overflowing with faeces”.

Xia will have to appear on bail for her sentencing at the same court on November 16.

While discussing the possible sentence, chairman of the bench, Paul Kidd, said: “Disqualification of keeping an animal would be my preference.”

Prosecuting, Jonathan Eales said Xia had “complete disregard for the animal’s welfare”.

Mr Eales, said: “She [Xia] spent long periods of time away from her property. She admitted in her interview that if she went away for less than a month she shut her cat in a cage, put food and water inside and left it. If she went away for more than a month she felt it was inappropriate to do that so she got a friend to feed her cat every two or three days.”

The court heard Xia said during her interview the landlord of her property asked her to keep the cat in a cage and let it free for short periods of time.

The animal was discovered by gas workers who inspected the property.

They reported the cat in the cage to the RSPCA and it was examined by a vet on March 6.

Despite being in a “reasonable” physical condition, the cat’s needs were not being met in respect of its diet and environment, Mr Eales added.

It was also not displaying normal behaviour, according to the vet.

After the case RSPCA inspector Ben Kirby said: “It is a shame that for whatever reason, she felt she could keep her animal like that. An animal is a privilege not a right. People should think carefully about if they can take one on.”

The cat will be rehomed.

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