15-Year-Old Charged for Animal Cruelty
HLE officer's uniformIn late June, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement concluded an investigation into the severe injuries of a six-month-old kitten with the arrest of a 15-year-old girl, a neighbor of the kitten’s owner.
ASPCA Special Agent Debbie Koch responded to an anonymous complaint about a cat in an apartment building in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn on February 11, 2008, and found the kitten, named Tiger, on the premises. Koch rushed Tiger to the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH), where veterinarians treated her for a collapsed lung and a broken rib—wounds reportedly sustained from being thrown down a flight of stairs by the teen.
Tiger was relinquished to the ASPCA and completed her recovery in the ASPCA's Pet Adoption Center, where she was renamed Kitty and adopted on May 11. The 15-year-old arrestee—whose name cannot be released due to her juvenile status—faces unspecified charges.
“Abuse of animals by children or adolescents can be an indicator of family violence issues in the home,” says Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA Senior Vice President, Anti-Cruelty Initiatives and Legislative Services. “It’s also a warning of a person’s potential for additional serious acts of violence when they get older. It is important to respond to these situations to insure that these children and their families have a better chance of getting the services they need to prevent future violence.”
In a separate incident, ASPCA Special Agent Paul Lai arrested Queens resident Christakis Panayi on July 9 for beating and kicking his seven-month-old Persian, Atosa.
The ASPCA was notified about the cat in early May by All Pets Veterinary Care of Ditmars Boulevard, where he had been brought for treatment for broken ribs and a broken leg. ASPCA agents brought Atosa to BMAH, where he underwent surgery and is still recovering.
Panayi, 38, is charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty and faces up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
If you witness cruelty to animals, please report it to the proper authorities. In New York City, contact the ASPCA's anonymous tip line at (877) THE-ASPCA. To learn how to report cruelty elsewhere, visit our Report Cruelty section.