Tag: animal abuse

Why We Need Stronger Animal Protection Laws: Example #233

Take a good look at the mugshot.

That winner-at-life is 21-year-old Mylo Latour, who used a sword to attack a kitten and said the experience was “magic,” according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Latour, who lives in York, Pa — a city of 44,000 in southern Pennsylvania, about 50 miles north of Baltimore — is accused of slashing his sister’s kitten, Mittens.

Latour told the cops he killed the baby cat because “it came into his room and it had power over him,” adding “my eyes dilated and I chopped it with my sword. It was magic.”

Mittens “had injuries consistent with disembowelment,” according to WHTM, a local ABC affiliate. Paperwork from an arrest report reviewed by the TV news station noted “there appeared to be a clean cut to the rear of the cat’s body.”

Latour was charged with cruelty to animals, a second-degree misdemeanor in the Pennsylvania penal code. That’s a charge on par with shoplifting, bigamy or stealing property worth less than $200. If he’s convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of $5,000 and up to a year in jail.

A more severe charge, aggravated cruelty to animals, does exist in the state. It’s defined as torturing an animal or “causing serious bodily injury to the animal or the death of the animal.” It’s not clear why Latour was hit with the lesser charge, and only one of more than a half dozen media reports specifies the charge against him.

We’ll keep an eye on this case and update accordingly.

Woman Arrested In Connection With Attack That Killed Instragram-Famous Cat

A woman involved in a brutal attack that led to the death of a well-known cat — and emergency surgery for one of his owners — faces assault charges after she was identified and arrested, the NYPD said.

Evelyn Serrano, 42, was caught on video tackling and beating Chanan Aksornnan, a 34-year-old woman who had been walking her cat, Ponzu, on a lead in Brooklyn’s McCarren park.

ponzu_serrano2
Evelyn Serrano. Credit: Asian-Dawn.com

Aksornnan suffered minor injuries, her boyfriend suffered a broken nose and had to undergo emergency surgery, and Ponzu lost his life in the chain of events that lead to the beat-down.

Bystanders say the incident began when a 12-year-old boy, who may be related to Serrano, either tripped over or tugged on the lead Aksornnan was using to walk Ponzu. The three-year-old cat was launched in the air and hit the ground hard, losing all his claws. He died of a heart attack shortly after a horrified Aksornnan scooped him up in her arms.

Serrano and her alleged accomplices showed “no remorse,” Aksornnan told Brooklyn news site Greenpointers, and acted as if Aksornnan was being unreasonable by being upset about the cat.

“That’s what you get for walking your —ing cat, b—,” a woman with Serrano said.

When Aksornnan referred to Ponzu as her “child,” the women mocked her,  yelling “That’s why you got no kids.”

Video shows Serrano — who at 5’7″ and 200 pounds is considerably larger than Aksornnan — launch herself at the grieving victim and tackle her to the ground.

Two other women with Serrano joined in, kicking and punching the victim while Serrano had her pinned down, video shows.

One of those women, identified as Julie Yvette Rodriguez, mean-mugs a bystander who was recording the incident, yelling “B–, I’ll f– you up” toward the end of the video.

Screenshot_2021-04-26 Asian Netizens Have Methodically Identified Those Responsible for Ponzu’s Death - Asian Dawn
Julie Yvette Rodriguez. Credit: Facebook via Asian-Dawn.com

After the incident, Rodriguez allegedly left anti-Asian comments and pictures on Aksornnan’s post about the death of her cat.

“English please ching ching,” she allegedly wrote, according to a screenshot shared on Twitter, before following it up with a meme of a stereotypical Asian man.

Screenshot_2021-04-26 Jowin Marie Batoon 🇵🇭 on Twitter
Credit: Instagram via twitter/Jowin Marie Batoon

The worst take on the incident goes to Jezebel’s Megan Reynolds, who imagined a bizarre economic disparity justification for the attack, noting the “park is full of picnicking gentrifiers.” Serrano and her cohort, Reynolds wrote, were seemingly incensed “about the fact that [Ponzu] was a cat on a leash, walking as if he owned the place.”

“Ponzu was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and something about the temerity of walking an Instagram-influencer cat on a leash was a larger symbol of economic disparity,” Reynolds wrote.

While she does acknowledge that she “can’t imagine a circumstance where I’d be so upset about it that I’d provoke an attack,” she alternately proposes the attack could have been prompted by “collective pandemic fatigue, shared by all of us in different ways, that manifested in violence and ended in tragedy.”

While the incident brought out a lot of ugliness, it also brought at least three communities together to console the victims and seek justice — neighbors and friends of the victim, the Asian-American community in Brooklyn, and local restaurant owners.

Aksornnan, who owns a Brooklyn restaurant called Baoburg and is known locally as Chef Bao Bao, received an outpouring of support from customers, neighbors and fellow restaurant owners. Owners of nearby Chinese and Japanese restaurants lent their support, and donors raised more than $65,000.

The money will be used for “the legal fight that is ahead of us,” according to the GoFundMe, as well as a legislative push for more severe animal abuse laws. In New York, pets are considered property and harming an animal results in — at most — a misdemeanor under the state’s Agriculture and Markets law.

Vet’s Lawyer: He Wasn’t Abusing A Cat, He Was ‘Appearing To Abuse A Cat’

The Alabama veterinarian accused of brutalizing a cat he was supposed to be treating pleaded not guilty to criminal charges at his first court hearing on Tuesday, but his legal woes are far from over.

In addition to the two charges of animal cruelty lodged against him by the Ozark Police Department, an ongoing criminal probe and an investigation by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medicine, veterinarian Richard Timothy Logan now faces a lawsuit from the abused cat’s owners, Richard and Christina Miller.

The 65-year-old veterinarian, who has been practicing animal medicine since 1982, drew the ire of animal rights activists and cat lovers across the country this week after a new video showed a man identified as Logan punching, choking and dropping a cat he was supposed to be treating at the Andrews Avenue Animal Hospital in Ozark, Alabama.

The video shows two separate incidents that happened after the Millers brought their 21-year-old cat, Mimi, in for routine tests and shots in November of 2020.

“(Dr. Logan) is dangling the cat like a hangman’s noose in one video,” said Will Matthews, the Millers’ attorney. “In the other video, he punches the cat as hard as he can punch right in the cat’s mouth.”

Richard Timothy Logan mugshot

The videos, which were combined into one clip, were uploaded by Carrie Pritt, a former employee at the animal hospital.

WTVY, a local news station in Alabama, inexplicably seemed to blame Pritt for the ensuing outrage, saying she “hatched her plan to record Logan after discussing concerns about [him] with friends for several months.”

Hatched her plan? She recorded the vicious abuse of a cat because she was horrified by what she saw. The fact that she was prepared to record the incident strongly suggests it wasn’t the first of its kind.

The natural question is: What had Logan allegedly done in the past that would prompt Pritt to record him? WTVY didn’t ask that question. Instead, at the behest of Logan’s attorney, David Harrison, the station aired a story saying Pritt had taken her own dog in to be treated by Logan months after the November incident with Mimi the cat.

Here’s the bush league lede from the web version of WTVY’s story:

Though her secret recording led to the arrest of an Ozark veterinarian, a woman apparently trusted that vet enough that she later allowed him to treat her dog. However, her attorney said her dog did not receive treatment, though she went to the clinic.

Matthews, who also represents Pritt, said the former employee stopped by the animal hospital to pick up paperwork and was there less than 10 minutes. Her dog was not treated there, he said.

But the TV station ignored that in favor of a headline saying Pritt “trusted [Logan] with her dog.”

Several WTVY stories about the incident also include variations of this line: “Videos posted Facebook on or about April 5 by a former clinic employee shows the incidents, though it is not clear if other circumstances contributed.” [Emphasis ours.]

It’s not clear if other circumstances contributed? Can anyone at WTVY give us a single reason why a veterinarian — a man whose job is to treat animals — would punch, slap, drop and choke a cat in his care?

If the man has been in practice since 1982, as his attorney says, then after four decades as a veterinarian, shouldn’t he know how to restrain a scared cat? That’s a basic, essential part of the job, as is basic compassion for scared and suffering animals.

It turns out the TV station was simply parroting Logan’s attorney, who told the station that the video “shows Logan appearing to abuse a cat, though contributing circumstances, if any, are not known.”

Translation from absurd lawyerspeak: Harrison says Logan wasn’t abusing Mimi, he was just “appearing to abuse a cat,” and besides, the cat must have done something to deserve it.

We’re sure that’s very reassuring to Logan’s clients: “Sorry, we had to beat the everliving crap out of your dog because he didn’t like being on the exam table, you know how it is. That’ll be $250 for the examination and another $125 for the blood work.”

Veterinarians take an oath to relieve animal suffering and to protect animal health and welfare. Allegedly abusing a terrified, screaming cat is nowhere in the job description.

If this nasty mess doesn’t prompt you to take a shower, Logan’s attorney garnishes it with the rotten cherry on top by invoking America’s war dead in an outlandish claim that uploading and sharing the video is unlawful. Harrison — who has already said he’s instructed his client to sue everyone who’s posted the video online — doesn’t seem to understand the difference between due process in court and the public’s right to know a veterinarian in their community is allegedly abusing animals.

“1.5 million Americans have died on foreign soil for us to have the right to be innocent until proven guilty,” Harrison told WTVY.

Cops: Vid Shows Alabama Vet Brutally Abusing Cat

UPDATE: Veterinarian Richard Timothy Logan has pleaded not guilty and the cat’s owners have filed a civil lawsuit against him. Read more here: Vet’s Lawyer: He Wasn’t Abusing A Cat, He Was ‘Appearing To Abuse A Cat’


A longtime veterinarian in Alabama has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty for hitting, choking and dropping a terrified cat in his exam room, according to police.

Richard Timothy Logan, 65, is a veterinarian at Andrews Avenue Animal Hospital in Ozark, Alabama.

A man identified as Logan was examining a calico cat in November, in an exam room at the animal hospital when he grabbed the cat by the scruff of her neck and punched her on the top of her head with a closed fist, video of the exam shows. Still holding the cat by her scruff, he slammed her down onto the exam table, then did it again more forcefully.

Logan then swiped the cat off the exam table, causing her to fall to the floor.

Logan steps out of the frame for several seconds, then the video cuts forward, showing Logan again with his hands on the cat as a veterinary assistant holds the terrified, screaming feline down.

He punches the cat a second time, makes an annoyed gesture, then picks the cat up by her collar and dangles her as she struggles.

Animal rights activists and local people outraged by the video protested outside Andrews Avenue Animal Hospital this week, holding signs of the abused calico and demanding the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medicine — which is conducting its own investigation separate from the criminal probe — revoke Logan’s license.

“We’re hoping for awareness, first of all, of animal abuse and we’re hoping that Dr. Logan will lose his license,” cat owner Rhonda Eller told Alabama’s Dothan Eagle. “There should not be veterinarians that don’t love animals and care for animals. Obviously, they should choose a different profession.”

Some of the protesters were clients of the animal hospital, and were alarmed not only by what they saw on the video — which was anonymously posted to Facebook on April 5 — but what may have happened behind closed doors when they brought their own pets in.

“I’ve been coming here so long, leaving my animals overnight [or] for a week when he said they needed it,” Michele Brown, a client of the hospital, told the Eagle. “What has happened to my animals while they were here and I never knew it?”

Neither Logan nor the animal hospital have issued public statements on the allegations, but Logan’s attorney, David Harrison, is acting as if the video does not show his client terrorizing a cat who was supposed to be in his care.

“He is a good veterinarian and people are destroying this man’s reputation,” Harrison told WTVY, an Alabama local news station. “I have instructed Dr. Logan to file a lawsuit against all who have smeared lies on social media. Facebook is not a court of law.”

Animal abuse protesters
Protesters stand across from Andrews Avenue Animal Hospital in Ozark, Alabama, this week.

Logan was charged with two counts of cruelty to animals.

Under Alabama law, if Logan is convicted, the most severe potential sentence is a $3,000 fine and up to one year in county jail. Because he doesn’t have priors, if he’s convicted he’s not likely to serve any jail time. Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor in Alabama’s penal code.

In the meantime, comments from Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams do not sound promising.

“While this video is deeply concerning, I would like to take this opportunity to implore people to have this same concern over child victim crimes and gun violence,” Adams said, appearing to downplay the severity of the allegations against Logan.

The cat “is alive and doing better with its owner,” Ozark police wrote in a statement posted to Facebook. Cops say they’ve interviewed the owner as well as “other witnesses.” It’s not clear if those witnesses include the veterinary tech who was present or other employees at the animal hospital, nor did police say who filmed the abuse.

Top photo: Richard Timothy Logan mugshot courtesy Ozark Police Department

Reason #53 To Keep Your Cats Indoors: Vigilantes

One bad thing about having Google News alerts for cat-related stories is the sheer, sickening volume of articles about cats who are maimed, tortured, killed by vigilante lunatics, dispatched by overzealous birders, shot with BB guns or arrows, poisoned with antifreeze, murdered as proxies in domestic violence incidents, kicked like soccer balls by juvenile psychopaths, or tragically killed by someone’s epic stupidity.

The amount of violence directed at felines is mind-boggling, and it doesn’t reflect well on the US: For example in Istanbul, a city of more than 15 million people, there are some 130,000 cats living on the streets, not including pets. While many ‘Mericans see an animal and think “Let’s shoot it!” the people of Turkey are overwhelmingly compassionate, going to incredible lengths to make sure street cats are fed, watered, sheltered and have access to veterinary care.

Today’s story fits in the “vigilante lunatics” category.

It’s not clear if the person in question simply hates cats or is acting out of some misguided campaign to “protect” small wildlife, but we do know that a would-be cat killer is threatening to kill outdoor kitties in Joplin, Missouri, a city about 230 miles east of Oklahoma City.

photo of british shorthair cat sitting on grass field
Credit: Kirsten Bu00fchne/Pexels

The suspect slapped warning letters and posters on the front doors of homes along four separate streets between 2:40 and 5 a.m. on Monday, local police said.

Cops haven’t released the full text of the letters, but said the letter-writer threatened to kill any stray or feral cats he or she comes across in the neighborhood. Likewise, while police did say images of the letter-writer were captured on doorbell cameras, they’re holding the identifying details close to the vest right now, which they may do for any number of reasons.

One of the homeowner who received the letter said he fears his two missing cats are now dead. Another neighbor said the letters follow similar threats by a woman wearing a red jacket, who told some people in the neighborhood to keep their cats inside or else.

“The lady, she was walking up and down the streets going door to door telling everybody that they better watch out for our cats because they were going to start being euthanized,” the neighbor told WKSN, the local NBC affiliate.

Joplin police are offering $2,500 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the letter-writer.

Feline humor, news and stories about the ongoing adventures of Buddy the Cat.