Tuesday, October 22, 2013
A Hutchinson couple is facing animal cruelty charges after police say they took turns throwing a five-month-old kitten against doors and walls.
Police were called to the home in the 1500 block of West 24th Avenue around midnight Saturday morning after a friend of the couple reported a disturbance. When officers arrived, they found the kitten dead inside the home.
Hutchinson Police Detective Curtis Black said the suspects were upset that the 5-month-old yellow tabby kept "using the restroom inside," and that Martens threw the cat against the wall. He said the couple then took turns throwing the cat until it suffered a fatal head injury.
Animal Control Officer Debra Kramer took the cat to a veterinarian for a necropsy.
"There's a proper way to discipline a cat and obviously slamming a cat against the wall is not proper discipline," said Kramer.
Officers arrested 24-year-old Bradlee Ellis and 20-year-old Emileigh Martens for animal cruelty. Both have since bonded out.
Animal lovers at the dog park near the Hutchinson Animal Control building expressed shock and outrage at the news.
"To put animal through that kind of pain and suffering is just despicable," said Janice Classen as she walked her dog.
Megan Lancaster added, "That's just heartless. Very, very heartless."
Formal charges are pending. Under Kansas law, a conviction for animal cruelty carries a sentence of 30 days to one year in jail and a fine of $500 to $5,000 when the animal is tortured or killed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report