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April 19, 2014

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Italian reservist acquitted in cat rescue case

Updated Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 | 8:03 a.m.

ROME (AP) — An Italian military court has acquitted an Army reserve doctor of disobedience for helping a cat who had trouble delivering a litter of kittens on a military base in Kosovo in 2012.

Army medical reservist Lt. Barbara Balanzoni said after her acquittal Friday she was disciplined, and later charged, after Italian soldiers asked her to help a cat whose last kitten was stillborn. Balanzoni said the cat, which she named Agata, would have died without intervention.

She was accused of violating protocol that states animals must be tended by veterinarians. Balanzoni said none was on base.

Balanzoni's lawyer, Aldo Areddu, said she still faces charges of defamation and insults, which he says were the result of escalating tension following the cat incident.