The couple who played catch with two cats while babysitting and posted video to Facebook were sentenced Thursday over the incident.
Kaine Fowler and Melissa Candela were babysitting two young children in Ashtabula, Ohio on Monday, February 16 when they captured the action on video as they played catch with the household’s two cats, folding them into rounded shapes and roughly tossing them back and forth to one another within sight of the children. The pair look high on the video and the living room couch appears to be tipped over, also.
Fowler followed up on the incident by posting the video to his Facebook page, where it attracted a lot of attention, and not of the sort he might have wanted. The video was viewed and shared by appalled Facebook users and came to the attention of the Ashtabula Animal Protection League and the Ashtabula Animal Control Officer.
The video was posted at 3 p.m. that Monday to Fowler’s Facebook page and within an hour the Ashtabula Police Department had received several calls about the video.
Fowler and Candela were arrested and charged the following day, and appeared in Ashtabula Municipal Court, where they waived their right to an attorney and told visiting Judge Larry Allen it was a big mistake to make the video and post it online.
In an interview with WEWS NewsChannel 5, Fowler said: “I was drunk and high and just decided to play a little game with my friend and we tossed the cat back and forth and people blew the f**k up about it.”
“I was already f***ed up before I went to babysit,” he said.
The pair pleaded guilty to two counts each of misdemeanor animal cruelty before a municipal judge on February 25.
“It was a mistake. I wasn’t thinking at the moment,” Candela told the judge. “I really wish we could rerun time and not be able to do that, so we wouldn’t be going through any of this.”
The charges were first-degree misdemeanors and the pair were eligible to receive up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail per charge.
They were sentenced Thursday, April 20.
Fowler and Candela were sentenced to 20 days in jail, which they have to report for in about three months. They also have to perform 120 hours of community service, all served at the Animal Protective League. They cannot own pets for 2 years, unless they are approved.
They also have to issue a public apology on YouTube and Facebook within one week.