When two teenagers decided to torment an eight-week old kitten they took a video of themselves putting the cat in a microwave and turning it on, only to laugh at what they were doing.
Police began investigating the incident with the microwave cat when video surfaced on Twitter. Both girls, who were 16 at the time, were originally charged with a felony after the incident. Fortunately, the microwave was only turned on for several seconds and the kitten was later named Miracle by the Animal Refuge League of Westbrook after being checked over by a vet and no problems were found with the cat.
According to Fox News, the punishment for such a crime can be quite severe even though the cat survived.
“Maine’s animal cruelty laws are usually among the toughest in the nation. In their 2013 Year-End Report Ranking State Animal Cruelty Laws, Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) ranked Maine fourth best in the nation…. In Maine, cruelty to animals is a Class D crime, which carries a fine of $500 to $2,500 and/or imprisonment of up to one year. In addition, the court may prohibit the person from owning or possessing animals and to pay for the care, housing and veterinary care of the animal.”
Attorneys claimed the girls did not have any intention of really harming the kitten, saying, “Torturing an animal is a marker for some serious behavioral problems, but we don’t know if these defendants fit that profile.” A father of one of the girls said his daughter suffers from anxiety and has been harassed. “The perception that something malicious was going on is not true,” he said.
Judge Keith Powers ordered the teenagers to receive a psychological evaluation and was considering a felony charge that they had tortured the kitten. But the charges were lessened to misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and both girls plead guilty during the summer. The judge sentenced them each to 100 hours of community service. The microwave cat named Miracle has since been adopted by a loving family.