LEWISTON — A woman accused of dumping four kittens into a trash bin earlier this month was charged Tuesday with criminal cruelty to animals.
Stacy Monahan, 43, of Hillside Lane, was charged after Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout interviewed her about the Aug. 12 incident.
Three of the four kittens have since died. Strout said the animals were covered in fleas and maggots when they were rescued from the Dumpster near Monahan's home.
The surviving kitten, a black and white male, joined a litter of newborns at the Androscoggin Humane Society and has since been adopted.
The kitten's name is Scamper and he lives with Laurie Nichols and her daughter Katie at their home in Auburn.
On Tuesday, Scamper and his newfound four brothers and sisters were crawling around on the floor, two weeks old and just learning how to walk.
After recovering from the ordeal of the Dumpster, Scamper was placed with Moxie, a money cat who had just delivered a litter. Moxie and the other kittens were also adopted by Nichols.
"She's a good mom," Nichols said. "They're all doing really well."
When Nichols adopted the cats, she did not know that Scamper had been rescued from the trash.
She and her daughter routinely serve as foster parents for litters of kittens, caring for them until they are old enough to be put up for adoption. She suspects that when the time comes, Scamper will be adopted right away.
"He's famous," Nichols said.
Two of the kittens pulled from the trash bin died shortly after they were taken to the shelter. The third died later, after the story of the dumped kittens made the news, according to Zachary Black, operations manager at the Humane Society.
To look at Scamper on Tuesday, there was no sign that he had been near death after being dumped into the trash in hot, August weather.
Strout said he interviewed Monahan after a pair of witnesses indicated she might be responsible for dumping the kittens. Monahan admitted to it, Strout said, although her reasons remained unclear.
Nichols, watching the kittens walk across her living room floor on tiny, trembling legs, said she doesn't really care what Monahan's explanation might be. Dumping animals and leaving them to suffer and die, she said, is inexcusable under any circumstances.
"Anyone with an adult thought process," she said, "should be able to understand that there are better options."