ASHTABULA, Ohio - A local woman is devastated after she said that her 6-month-old kitten was catnapped, tossed into the air and then riddled with a shotgun blast, 19/43 News' Bill Younkin reported.
The Ashtabula County sheriff said that the cat murder is a result of a "neighborhood feud" that has gotten out of hand, and that could land an 18-year-old behind bars.
Neighbor Doris Smith witnessed the incident.
"I felt sick when I saw that poor little kitten flying through the air," Smith said. "That made me sick."
The kitten's owner, Judy Anderson, said that she was horrified when she returned home Saturday to find one of her kittens had been riddled by a shotgun blast.
"It was shot right across the backbone," Anderson said. "It couldn't walk or anything. It was paralyzed. It was in misery, so we just put it down.
"They're just innocent cats. They have nothing. They don't hurt anybody."
Kenneth Boggs, another of Anderson's neighbors, disagrees. He said that the kittens have scratched his car's new paint job.
"We tell them to put them up, and they don't listen, and they keep coming back and coming back and coming back," Boggs said. "It's a varmint, that's what it is. It's packing a disease."
Now, if Boggs' 18-year-old son Clayton is convicted, he could spend more than a year behind bars.
According to the Sheriff's Department's report, an 11-year-old girl took the kitten from a nearby dumpster, went across the street and gave it to her 13-year-old brother who threw it into the air, and the 18-year-old fired the shot.
The sheriff, Billy Johnson, said that his office tries to mediate neighborhood disputes.
"What we try to do is tell them to avoid one another if they can't get along, so problems like this don't exist," Johnson said.
"It's nothing other than outrageous for something like that to happen."