COLUMBIA — Sheriff's deputies are looking for the person or people who declawed a kitten and threw it into a fire last week.
The kitten was taken to MU's Veterinary Clinic, where it was euthanized.
Detective Tom O'Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff's Department called it a "disturbing" case of animal abuse. The department is asking the public to help detectives find the culprits.
Sheriff's deputies along with officers from Columbia Animal Control responded Wednesday to an anonymous call to the Green Hills Trailer Park on Highway VV north of Columbia.
When officials arrived, they discovered a 3-month-old short-haired kitten had been crudely declawed and thrown into a small brush fire.
O'Sullivan said the person who declawed the kitten was "not qualified" and that it was a "hideous, horrendous thing to do."
The perpetrator could be charged with one count of animal abuse. Animal abuse is a class D felony and carries a maximum sentence of four years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000, according to Missouri statutes.
O'Sullivan said these sorts of crimes are "rare but very upsetting." He said the sheriff's department often gets calls about cats or dogs out in the cold, but "something this malicious and willful is very disturbing."
Anyone with information is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 875-8477 or to dial 911. All calls are confidential, and tipsters don't have to give their names to collect a reward.
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