A 14 year old boy from Nelson, New Zealand uploaded this photo of a kitten seemingly being forced to take a bong hit to his Facebook page Saturday night, bringing both joking comments and complaints from those who viewed it. Two people are clearly holding the kitten’s head over the opening to a smoky chamber. As the negative comments and complaints about the act seen in the image multiplied, the photo was removed.
The matter does not end at Facebook, though. Hayden Kennedy, 20, went to the police and wants the boys involved to be charged with animal cruelty. Police advised him to go the the SPCA. Kennedy is quoted in the Nelson Mail, saying “I was disgusted because joke or not it’s animal cruelty. Holding a kitten into a bong – I don’t know what he was thinking.”
Police say they have identified at least two of the boys and they are conducting an investigation. Nelson Bay Police Inspector Chris De Wattignar said the police are concerned not only over the abusive treatment of the kitten, but also over parental care and supervision of the youths.
SPCA inspector Craig Crowley said the SPCA had been contacted by several people but the case was being handled by police. Crowley cited the drug and parental care aspects of the case as placing it under police jurisdiction.
If ill treatment of an animal is charged, an abuser can receive up to a $10,000 fine and six months imprisonment.
The SPCA has agreed to take the kitten, which looks about 6 weeks old, if it is relinquished by the family or taken away by police.
Gretchen H. expressed the sentiments of many when she wrote at the SPCA Nelson Facebook page, saying, “I’m sickened and angered by the front page article in today’s Nelson paper.
“I hope the kitten and any other animal in that house have been taken from that family. If not, why not? Action need to be immediate or it will just continue. Zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour. Besides, what’s a 14 yr old doing with dope and a bong? His parents have alot to answer for here. How would they like someone bonging a 6 week baby for a laugh.
“Big thanks to Hayden for raising the alarm. Take guts to make a stand! More of us need to be doing this to protect the vunerable and helpless from senseless acts of cruelty by ignorant and arrogant idiots. What can we do to help?”