Two newborn kittens lived in this world for only 48 hours, but their presence is making history in Nevada. The siblings were stolen from their mother by two 16-year-old boys who cruelly drowned them in a cup of water. In the first case of its kind, the teens were charged with felony animal cruelty and will be tried under a new stricter law enacted in 2011.
The sad crime would have gone unnoticed if Christine Ohm hadn’t heard animals crying and boys laughing in her neighbor’s yard, while she was cleaning her pool. She ran and got a ladder and looked over the fence.
“I saw they had drowned one kitten in a cup of water,” said Ohm. “The other was in the water and dead, but the boys were still holding it down.” The teens used a barbecue utensil to keep the kittens underwater.
Horrified at what she saw, Ohm took pictures of the scene with her phone and called Las Vegas police for help. The boys were charged with felony cruelty and are being held in custody.
The teens, whose names are being withheld because they are juveniles, are the first people in the state to face felony animal cruelty charges for a first offense since a stricter law was enacted in 2011. Cooney’s Law was passed to protect animals after a beagle was brutally mutilated by its owner. Prior to the law, a person had to commit three acts of animal abuse before being charged with a felony crime.
Thomas Ericsson, one of the teenager’s lawyers argued in court, “As I’m sure you’re aware, Las Vegas euthanizes thousands and thousands and thousands of feral and pet cats because people aren’t spaying and neutering them. I’m not justifying the conduct, but this wasn’t violence against other people; it was inappropriate conduct involving the animals.”
The judge didn’t buy the argument, calling it “outright cruelty.” The charges send a strong message that times have changed in Nevada and animal abuse will not be tolerated.
Photo Credit: fauxto_digit