Chesterfield woman charged after kittens found starved - - Richmond, VA News

Chesterfield woman charged after kittens found starved, caged in bin

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An unusual animal abuse case lands a Chesterfield woman behind bars. Rachel Stuckey, 73, was charged with trapping and starving kittens underneath a mobile home trailer. She's being held without bond.

This isn't the first time Stuckey has faced these kinds of charges. Arrest warrants show that Stuckey has been charged and convicted for a slew of animal cruelty counts, some dating back to 2001. She was even ordered not to have any companion animals. However, police say that didn't happen.

Animal control officers say five, three-week-old kittens were discovered malnourished and dehydrated underneath the trailer where Stuckey lives, off Jefferson Davis Highway. The kittens were in a plastic storage container, covered with a coat, so that they couldn't escape. Officers say the kittens weighed only 10 ounces each, less than a pound, with no way out of the container.

A man who answered the door said that Stuckey did stay at the trailer, but he didn't give a clear answer as to whether he knew the animals were being neglected.

"I've seen one before she's kept, where it took…months before it got back to normal weight. You'd see the rib cage. It would just look like skin and ribs," described neighbor Daniel French.

Animal control officers immediately took the kittens in and went back to capture their mother.

The kittens are being kept at the Chesterfield Animal Control shelter. NBC12 cameras weren't allowed to take pictures of the kittens, because of the ongoing police investigation.

However, we were allowed to visit the kittens. They're black and white, and very happy to be safe and with their mother. The kittens snuggled on top of each other, with their mother cat nearby.

"They've all been reunited," said Donald Rose, a supervisor at the Chesterfield Animal Control supervisor. "They are coming along as good as can be expected."

Stuckey is scheduled to appear in court at the end of June. The kittens will likely be available for adoption in just over a month.

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