Categories: animal abuse

Teenagers drowning 2-day-old kittens in cup of water highlights change in attitude to animal cruelty

In 2011, Nevada created law which made first offence animal cruelty a felony (a serious crime). This was a radical move in the right direction from the standpoint of animal advocates. The law reflected a change in sentiment towards animal welfare in the state and, wider, in the USA.

Looking back a century ago cruelty to cats and other animals was on occasion considered to be a form of amusement. I am thinking of tying a firecracker to a kitten’s tail for example.

The phrase, ‘kicking the cat’ is well established and means to release frustration. However, its origin is in kicking cats. Cats are still kicked but attitudes have largely moved on.

Nevada animal law 2012 – an example

This picture is for illustrative purposes only.

In 2012, two 16-year-old teenagers were the first to be charged in Nevada with a felony for drowning a couple of 2-day-old kittens in a cup of water using a barbecue tool to hold the newborns down.

The crime was particularly heinous and psychopathic. It conjures up a distressing image of sociopathic behavior highlighted by the laughter of the teenagers as they had fun killing the tiny kittens.

A grey cat had given birth in the backyard of the home of Christine Ohm in Las Vegas. The mother and kittens disappeared. Christine heard the cries of the kittens and the laughter of the boys from her neighbour’s home.

She looked over the dividing fence with the help of a ladder and:

“I saw they had drowned one kitten in a cup of water. They other was in the water and dead, but the boys were still holding it down.”

She took a photo and called the police. At a bail hearing the boys’ lawyer made a statement that harked back to an earlier attitude which was incompatible with Nevada’s new felony crime of animal cruelty:

“(I’m) not justifying the conduct, but this wasn’t violence against other people; it was inappropriate conduct involving the animals.”

The judge did not buy the argument. Animal rights had been advanced in the law. One reason for taking animal cruelty seriously is that it is often a precursor to violence against people.

But the point of this post is that attitudes in the US and worldwide have improved regarding animal abuse over the preceding 100 years. There is more to do. When declawing is banned in the US, either on a state-by-state basis (likely) or federally, it’ll be a landmark in the drive for cat welfare.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Yet another example of the total absence of competent parenting. No child is born with a need to abuse any living being. If humans were born anything other than loving, sociable and non violent, they would not have lasted this long. I know there is burgeoning evidence of genetic tendencies towards many types of antisocial behaviour, but I believe we have to look at parents, parenting and the loss of actual community & communal responsibility.

    Poor kittens, poor Mother cat.

  • It has nothing to do with a personal viewpoint on their part that kittens should be drowned/killed. What possible reason could there be? It is also the worst way to kill, inducing the most fear and pain - look it up. This kind of thing is like drawing attention at a party or something. It is the worst to let go in any way. Felony charges are appropriate, if that's the best we can do. So what do I mean? Just let me catch wind of any person doing this and see what happens to them. I'll go to jail if need be after I do what needs to be done. That's a lousy thing to say but compared to what these types do? There are way too many people on this planet to say we need this kind around one minute longer, taking up space, breathing our air, eating our food, drowning our kittens.

  • It may have seemed crass to just video, take a picture but without that those boys would have continued to kill not just those kittens but any small animals they could victimize. And without proof it becomes a contest over who is telling the truth.
    The little punks should have been waterboarded.

    • SHUT UP!!! SHUT UP!!! That’s just cruel. Ugh! People like you disgust me. For one thing, drowning is one of the worst ways to go and for another, newborn kittens are just adorable 😍 and all those sick people out there waste them away by torturing them and killing them. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were one of those cat killers. People like you and those sick teens need to be exterminated before you kill too many cats and escalate to human killing.

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