A couple flying from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Tampa, Florida, on New Year’s Day was cited for placing a 6-month-old cat inside a checked bag “without food, water or air,” police said.
The Erie Times-News reported that Olivia Sari, 21, and Nicholas M. Larrison, 21, both of North Port, Florida, are accused of attempting to smuggle the cat, named Slim, in the luggage when it was intercepted by Transportation Security Administration officials at the Erie International Airport.
According to The Smoking Gun, the pair checked a piece of luggage that triggered the airport’s inspection system. TSA agents reportedly went to take a closer look at the suspicious bag and found the kitten.
“A poor decision made on the customers’ part,” Erie International Airport’s director of public safety and facilities, Eric Bogle, commented.
Court citations obtained by The Smoking Gun indicated that the feline was packed alongside clothes and was “deprived of food, water or air.”
Sari and Larrison were both cited with a summary count of transporting animals in a cruel manner. The Times-News reported that they face a fine if convicted.
The airport director told the local newspaper that Slim was turned over to the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
“Twenty-eight years I’ve been here. I’ve seen some unique things. I’ve been involved in plenty of unique things. This is a first,” he said.
The citations were officially filed before a Millcreek Township District Judge on Tuesday. Court documents indicated that Sari and Larrison have yet to enter a plea to the charge.
[Featured Image: Slim the cat/Transportation Security Administration]