Couple Cited for Animal Cruelty After a Kitten was Found in a Dumpster

Police say the kitten was in a bag in a dumpster for 20 hours before being found

South Burlington, Vt. - South Burlington Police announced Friday two people were cited for animal cruelty, after a cat was found in a dumpster on Thursday.

Officials say a cat was found in a trash bag, inside a dumpster, outside of an apartment on Farrell Street.

An officer arrived around 7:40 p.m. on Thursday, and spoke with the complainant, who said they believed someone may have put a cat in the dumpster, according to a release from police.

Authorities say the officer could hear a cat crying inside the dumpster, and found a cat moving inside a trash bag.  The officer pulled a wet and shivering kitten out of a closed trash bag, according to police.

An investigation found the cat belonged to someone who lived in the apartment building.  Two officers spoke to Kelly Cooney, 35, of South Burlington and her boyfriend, Justin Perkins, 32, of Burlington, according to officials. Authorities say during an interview, officers learned both of them knew or were responsible for the kitten being thrown in the dumpster.

According to police, both Cooney and Perkins were uncooperative in letting officers into their apartments as well as searching what was left of the garbage bag.

Further investigation by police found Perkins had hit the kitten before throwing it away. Police say the kitten was in the bag in the dumpster for around 20 hours.

Officials say the kitten was taken to an emergency vet to get checked out.  Police learned the kitten had a broken leg, caused by trauma. Authorities say arrangements are being made for the kitten to receive treatment for its injuries.

Police say Perkins and Cooney were both cited for Cruelty to Animals. Perkins was arrested on a warrant for prior drug charges, according to a release from police.  Both are due in court on August 22.

The investigation is on-going while South Burlington Police obtain a search warrant to search the contents of the trash bag.

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