Boys Report Abuse, Kittens are Saved

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Five tiny kittens are alive and recovering from the effects of neglect thanks to the actions of four Mansfield, Ohio boys who witnessed an act of animal cruelty and told an adult who called police.

The kittens were in rough shape when they were found, but have already seen a vet, are doing well, and are showing improvement.

The four boys, aged 10, 13, 14 and 16, were approached by 53 year old Kenneth Fugett, who asked them if they wanted a cat. When the boys said no, Fugett broke its neck right in front of them and tossed the body into the weeds.  Fugett also tossed a tied plastic bag containing four flea ridden little kittens with respiratory infections, leaving them to die.

The boys were shocked and horrified and told a parent who reported what they’d seen to police. One of the boys got video of the incident on his phone.  When police and humane officials arrived on the scene they found the deceased 2-3 month old kitten, with a very young kitten roaming nearby.  They heard little cries and found the plastic bag with the kittens inside.

“When we opened it up there were four kittens inside about 4 weeks old,” said Melissa Houghton, of the  Humane Society of Richland County. “Whoever did it, didn’t intend for the kittens to get out alive.”

Mansfield News Journal Reporter Jami Kinton wrote at Facebook yesterday:
“BREAKING NEWS: Four kittens were just found in a shopping bag in the weeds disoriented and covered in fleas after a 53-year-old Mansfield man reportedly threw them in a few hours ago. Police are seeking the man, who resides in the 1100 block of Dillon Road, who is also seen on video taped by his neighbor (that I have watched), reportedly snapping the mother cat’s neck and throwing her in the weeds, too. The man’s 75-year-old mother said her son is not all there and has a lot wrong with him physically and mentally. Police say he will be charged but have not yet been able to find him. Neighbors say he went walking down the street, reportedly intoxicated, after the incident. The Richland County Humane Society has the kittens. A fifth baby kitten was found next to the mother. More to come.”

Humane Society of Richland County wrote at Facebook on Tuesday: “We will be looking for foster homes for these 5 babies. They’ll be going to the vet tomorrow. As of now, they are eating, drinking and much better off than they were a few hours ago!”

Jami Kinton gave a Facebook update today, saying: “The five little babies saved yesterday are improving so much! Melissa Houghton, an agent at the Humane Society of Richland County, said the kittens went to the vet this morning and were prescribed antibiotics and eye ointment. Their maggots and fleas are also being taken care of. Yesterday, Kenny Fugett, 53, was charged with animal cruelty after reportedly stuffing the kittens into a bag and throwing them into the weeds.”

Kenneth Fuget faces charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty.  The Humane Society’s Melissa Houghton says she wishes Fuget could be charged with a felony and hopes he is prosecuted as rigorously as possible under the law.  Fugett faces up to ninety-days in jail if convicted of the second-degree misdemeanor.

“I’m very proud of [the witnesses] for not being quiet about it and for realizing that this was wrong,” said Houghton, who calls the boys heroes. “Those boys are to be commended for their bravery to come forward. This is something that some adults would turn their heads on. We need more people like this to stand up. To some people, these may just be some kittens, but they are still living beings with emotions and feelings.”

Mansfield police Officer Jerod Kingsborough spoke with the boys and one of their mothers.

“The boys told me that this man called them over and asked if they wanted a cat,” said Nicole Boice, 33. “When they said, ‘No,’ he supposedly began bending and twisting the cat’s neck until it snapped, and then chucked it into the weed.

“It makes me furious. That’s why I called police. Kids don’t need to watch something like that.”

Humane Officer Houghton says the kittens need to go into foster care until they are recovered from the effects of neglect and old enough to be adopted.

Two local news reports on the story follow the photos below.



WMFD reported on the story:

Video by Mansfield News Journal Reporter Jami Kinton. This report includes remarks from the accused’s mother. Ruth Fugett, 75, who said her son suffers from several conditions but loved the animals. She brushed off the way the animals were treated by her son, saying, “He loved them and they were going to die anyway.”


2 thoughts on “Boys Report Abuse, Kittens are Saved”

  1. Thanks boys and their parents and animal care professionals for taking care of these little God’s creatures!!

  2. Sick, sick people in this world. So glad those boys did the right thing and helped out these babies. Glad to see that there are still kids being raised right in the world. <3

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