Two kittens were recently found severely dehydrated under a bucket in a man’s backyard, according to a Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control arrest report.
Roberto Poli was arrested after one of the kittens had to be euthanized because of its lack of response to treatment, the report states.
An ACC officer said she found the kittens after a neighbor reported a long-haired dog in Poli’s suburban Boynton Beach backyard with no one home.
The kittens were found in the bucket with a recycle bin and plastic lid on top, the report states. The officer noted the outside temperature was nearly 85 degrees with a heat index of 88.2 degrees.
The officer said the kittens were in the bucket for nearly 9 hours. They were "wet and breathing heavily with open mouths," the report stated.
"I should have taken them up there and gotten care," Poli said barely 24 hours after he was arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty and unlawful animal confinement.
Poli said he was frustrated with all of the cats that roam near his home. He said he called Animal Care and Control and Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, but the problem returned.
"A cat lady, my neighbor... she started around 2010-2011 feeding a couple and then it went to dozens and dozens," he said.
Dr. Dacia Oprisanu, a veterinarian with ACC, said the second kitten did not begin eating on its own until nine days after arriving at a county facility. She reported both kittens showed signs of heatstroke.
"It's really a bad situation and I was indecisive when I captured the little cats. I knew they needed to go somewhere and I knew if I let them go back into a yard, I'm just faced with an ongoing problem, Poli said.
He was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on $6,000 bond. He has a court date in August.