12-year-old boy accused of attacking kitten, leaving it in dumpster

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 12-year-old boy accused of beating a cat and throwing it in a dumpster to die has been arrested by Metro police.

Police said the boy confessed to the crime and was charged with a felony in juvenile court. It’s the latest in a series of abuse cases involving young people being investigated by Metro Animal Care and Control.

According to authorities the incident allegedly happened on Oct. 3 when a woman returned home and could not find her daughter’s 9-month-old kitten.

After repeated questioning of her 12-year-old son, authorities said he finally admitted he beat the cat severely and then threw it into the dumpster behind the apartment.

The woman rescued the cat and took it to the vet. It suffered a broken leg and underwent emergency surgery.

When interviewed by MACC investigators, the woman said they’d been having issues with her son and she believes he did it out of anger.

According to animal cruelty investigators, the boy admitted to hurting the animal and was charged a week later at the Juvenile Justice Center with aggravated animal abuse, which is a felony.

In May 2018, News 2 covered a disturbing case where a Metro teenage girl was charged with animal abuse after she videoed herself throwing her pet rabbit against the wall.

At the time, Sue Baker, with MACC told News 2, “She indicated she didn’t like the bunny; it had been scratching her and she was annoyed with it.”

In March 2019, another disturbing case of animal abuse involving a Nashville teenager.

A boy in North Nashville was arrested for allegedly dragging a dog down the street while kicking it in the face.

At the time, News 2 spoke with a woman who witnessed the crime and called police.

“I mean the dog still wouldn’t walk so he drug this dog for almost a mile and a half just dragging it.”

MACC investigators said protecting animals is important, but so is identifying young people with violent tendencies.

Baker said, “These teens abusing these animals – what happens when they become a parent and they don’t have the level of patience and compassion that should have? We need to instill that into our youth.”

Ashley Harrington with MACC said the disturbing trend is hard to reconcile.

“I wish I had a full answer for you. I think some of it stems from the education on how to interact and handle animals,” she told News 2.

Cory Wells, who investigated the cat attack said, animal abuse among young people is often a sign of more demented behavior.

“Studies show most of your serial killers start out with animals and work their way up. You don’t start out killing people one day, you have to start somewhere small and work your way up. And while we are here to protect the animals, my main goal is to protect the animals, but also to protect the children and get them help, mental, psychological, whatever they may need,” Wells said.

The kitten is home with her owner and is expected to make a full recovery.

The 12-year-old charged with the crime now lives with his father in Dickson.

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