by Elisa Black-Taylor
Good morning readers. For some reason this case of cat abuse is bringing a slight smile to my face. Not because of the crime against a cat, mind you. I’m happy because for the first time, DNA evidence is being used in two cat abuse cases in Kings County, N.Y.
It’s about time the police start using sophisticated DNA methods to catch and punish these cat abusers before they go on to abuse or kill people!
I’d like to explain each case separately.
On October 7, 2008, two teens Angelo Monderoy, 18, and Matthew Cooper, 17, decided it would be a great idea to break into a vacant apartment, and then traumatize the cat they found living there. The two held the cat down, poured charcoal lighter fluid on it, and then set it on fire.
The cat, Tommy Two Times, was found outside the building the following day, still alive and crying from the fourth degree burns he received. He was humanely euthanized the next day when his owner, the building superintendent, took him to the vet. The two teens were arrested and charged with second degree arson, second degree burglary, and aggravated animal cruelty. If convicted they face up to 25 years in prison.
In a recorded phone conversation with one of the teens, the excuse for setting the cat on fire was “we were bored.”
Two Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) cases made landmark felony convictions on March 8, 2011. The DNA was examined at University of California-Davis. There was a piece of skin which matched that of the cat located on the charred floor in the apartment the teens set on fire. This linked them to the animal cruelty case.
On October 12, 2009, Lordtyshon Garrett of Kings County, N.Y. terrorized a four year old cat named Madea by poking and beating her with an umbrella. During this fight Madea bit and clawed at the umbrella, leaving DNA evidence on the umbrella. The ASPCA reported not only was her DNA on the umbrella, but the abuser also left DNA at the crime scene.
Garrett not only beat this cat to death, he also lured it into the bathroom with food, turned on the shower, and showed no remorse after the abuse.
The cat was euthanized the next day with a punctured lung and injuries equivalent to being hit by a car.
The abuse occurred at the home of Garrett’s mother-in-law, Deborah Bender, who believes her ultimatum to move out and get a job set him off.
Dr. Robert Reisman, Medical Coordinator of Animal Cruelty Cases at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, testified at the trial that the bite marks on the umbrella were defensive. This resulted with Garrett being found guilty of aggravated cruelty, animal cruelty and criminal mischief and he now faces up to two years in prison.
I hope that more and more cases can be proven against animal abusers based on DNA evidence. I say lets lock these abusers up and throw away the key.
Readers, the question I have for you today is a good one. Do you believe the animal abuse crime rate will go down once DNA evidence becomes standard practice? Do you think it will prevent anyone from committing the abuse?