A West Lothian man who poisoned a kitten by lacing tuna with antifreeze has been convicted following a Scottish SPCA investigation.
Charles Coulter, 76, of Harthill Road, Fauldhouse, was sentenced at Livingston Sheriff Court.
At a previous appearance, Coulter pled guilty to causing a cat unnecessary suffering by leaving out tuna fish contaminated with antifreeze which contained the active ingredient ethylene glycol. He was ordered to pay £410 in compensation to the owner of the kitten he poisoned.
Commenting on the investigation and court case, an undercover inspector said: “Coulter’s neighbour became concerned when her seven month old cat named Sneaky began vomiting. She noted Sneaky smelled strongly of tuna fish and asked Coulter if he had put anything out to poison him, to which he replied that he had.
“Sneaky was immediately taken to a vets where he was found to have kidney damage. He was discharged from the vets and given medication but tragically died a month later.
“When we conducted a search of Coulter’s garden, we found two pigeon lofts and a shed. Tuna laced with blue liquid was seized and was later confirmed to contain ethylene glycol, an active ingredient in antifreeze which, if ingested by cats, often proves fatal. We also discovered a large drum containing this substance.
“When we interviewed Coulter he fully admitted contaminating tuna fish with antifreeze and placing it in his garden to deter cats from annoying his pigeons.
“Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include vomiting, lethargy and, in the latter stages, head-shaking and coma, which ultimately results in renal failure and death.
“The poisoning of animals, wild or domestic, is extremely serious and causes unimaginable suffering.
“Poisoning cases are very complex and we are pleased that as a result of our thorough investigation Coulter now has a criminal record for this cruel and deliberate act.
“Coulter has shown no remorse for his actions which resulted in a family losing their much loved pet and we hope this case will serve as a warning to others that the deliberate poisoning of cats is completely unacceptable.”