Livingston County Animal Control is investigating a case of the stomping deaths of six kittens in Michigan. The six kittens appear to have been intentionally killed. Livingston County Animal Control Director Debbie Oberle says the stomping deaths incident was reported to 911 dispatch last Saturday. The Livingston Daily reported the stomping deaths on Thursday.
The kittens, according to WHMI News, were approximately three to four-weeks-old. The stomping deaths occurred in a home just off of US-23 south of M-59 in Livingston County, Michigan. Oberle told WHMI News the six kittens appear to have been deliberately stomped to death with a large boot or shoe.
“On days when things like this happen, we all have to sit back and reflect on what happened and how can justice be served,” the Livingston County Animal Shelter announced on the Facebook page. The name of a suspect has not been announced at this time, but the shelter added, “We are prosecuting. Painful pictures.”
In Michigan, Malicious Animal Cruelty is defined, in part, as when someone, “willfully, maliciously and without just cause or excuse kills, tortures, mutilates, maims, or disfigures an animal,” according to the Stray Cat Advocacy. It is a felony charge, and the punishment includes a fine of up to $5000 and/or up to four years in jail and/or community service work which lasts not more than 500 hours. Animal Cruelty, a lesser offense is a misdemeanor charge for the first offense, but is a felony for repeat-offenders. Many county residents are already calling for the maximum sentence if charged and convicted.
The Livingston County Animal Shelter features a cat play room, operates a Trap-Neuter-Release program for feral cats, offers low-income spaying and neutering, and runs a quality adoption service. Oberle told WHMI News that anyone in Livingston County with an unwanted litter of kittens has many options. The Michigan community located between Lansing and Detroit is home to a county run animal control and shelter with relatively low euthanasia rates, an active Humane Society, and other successful animal shelters and foster homes.
Recently, Inquisitr reported that Animal Cruelty was added to the FBI’s “Crime Against Society” list, a change that will take effect next year.
“People are taking animal cruelty more and more seriously. It’s a violent crime, and if it goes unchecked, it leads to bigger things. An animal is a very easy victim. An animal can’t pick up a phone and call 911,” law enforcement officer Victor Amato said, according to the previous Inquisitr article. Animal lovers in a small Michigan community were horrified to learn of the deaths of the six kittens, according to social media commentary.
— Stephanie Kotschevar (@Skotschevar) September 26, 2014
“First sign of becoming a serial killer is cruelty to animals. Hope someone puts this person ‘out of their misery’ before he moves on to human victims,” Brittany Campbell warned when she read of the kittens’ deaths. “I am so sad to hear about this horrible treatment to innocent animals.”
“I don’t know if senseless violence and utter cluelessness is more rampant now that it has been all through time–probably not–but I do know it makes hypocrites of us all if we believe we live in an enlightened society,” Gabriella Garlock from Howell, Michigan wrote. “Well, an enlightened society takes work, demanding accountability from your fellow citizens before someone’s life sinks to the point where they can do this. At the risk of being busybodies…report trouble! Brittany C. wasn’t just throwing out a platitude: cruelty towards animals really IS a warning sign of a danger to society.”
An adult cat also lived in the house where the stomping deaths occurred and appeared to be the mother of the kittens, according to Oberle. The adult female cat was unharmed. The investigation into the stomping deaths of the six kittens is, according to WHMI News, still ongoing.
[Photo of four-week-old kitten via Alley Cat Allies]