Two kittens are recovering in foster care and three young children face likely felony abuse charges. We declined to cover this story when it surfaced last week but decided to do so now without detailing the abuse in print. Details on the incident are available in the accompanying video. Our focus here is the recovery of the kittens and potential charges against the abusers.
Patrick and Henry were turned over to the Animal Friends Rescue Project of Pacific grove, CA after their ordeal and are recovering in foster care. Both are being treated for eye damage, and one of the two faces surgery to have an eye removed. The kittens’ littermate suffered a severe brain injury and had to be humanely euthanized. AFRP said at their Facebook page on August 4, “Patrick and Henry will be available for adoption in 3-4 weeks, once they have healed from surgery and are sufficiently healed emotionally. It’s wonderful to see them playing and trying their best to be ‘normal’ kittens; they deserve perfect homes.”
It is a sad fact that cats and kittens are abused, tortured and killed somewhere every day. This case stands out because of the ages and gender of the tormenters. Two girls and one boy, aged 5, 7 and 10 tortured the three kittens in Watsonville, CA on July 28, causing one to have to be euthanized, and making the children responsible for its death. The other two were treated appallingly but are expected to make a good recovery.
The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter announced on Friday that they are seeking felony animal abuse charges against the three children. There were eyewitness reports on the horrific actions of the children, and someone called the police, which put the crime on record and helped save the lives of Patrick and Henry, while allowing the third kitten to die a merciful death instead of suffering.
Santa Cruz shelter manager Melanie Sobel is quoted saying “We want to send a clear message that this is absolutely unacceptable behavior by these children towards these defenseless animals.” Sobel also said of the case, “This needs to be addressed right now, because it could escalate into more serious egregious acts of violence against humans or animals. Serial killers; there’s a 100% correlation between all of them having abusing animals as children. It doesn’t mean these children are going to grow up and be serial killers, but all serial killers have abused animals as children.”
Given the ages of the children, the felony charges may become watered down in children’s court. Even if they are prosecuted and found guilty, it is likely that the offenders will get “help” instead of punishment, but this felony charge recommendation is important in the message it sends that acts of cruelty against animals should not be taken lightly, accepted or ignored.