Young Couple Charged After Putting Cat In Checked Bag

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Not Slim, for illustration purposes only.

A young couple from Tampa have been charged with animal cruelty after sneaking their cat into their checked baggage.

The six-month old feline called Slim was discovered inside a suitcase at the Erie International Airport as Olivia Sari, 21, and Nicholas M. Larrison, 21 checked in for a flight returning to Florida after the holidays.

The couple are charged with transporting an animal in a cruel manner, and face a fine.

It was “a poor decision made on the customers' part,” said Ian Bogle, Erie Airport director of public safety and facilities.

"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.

Slim was handed over to an animal shelter in Erie County for safekeeping.

TSA agents were alerted to the furry stowaway when the airport's baggage inspection system set off an alarm, the Erie Times-News reported.

Sari and Larrison have not yet entered pleas to the charges.

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