Following on news today that a woman had microwaved a kitten, this is unfortunately more common than most people might imagine. He is another very similar incident from a chapter on cruelty issues dealt with by the police from my book A Lone Furrow:
In one of the worst cases of cruelty imaginable, a 17 year-old youth was visiting his friend in a house in Forfar, Angus. At one point the visitor made his way to the kitchen while the friend remained in the sitting room. After a short time he wondered what his visitor was doing and went through to the kitchen to investigate. The 17 year-old was standing beside the microwave oven, which had been switched on. Inside the microwave was one of a litter of 4 week-old kittens that were from the family cat. The son of the household rushed to the microwave and took out the kitten, which he saw was having difficulty breathing. He put it on the floor, where it was shaking uncontrollably, was unable to walk and was clearly in great pain. After a brief argument about what had taken place the unwelcome visitor rushed out of the house.
The police were called and took the kitten to a vet. It was given treatment but after six days had to be euthanased as its internal injuries were so severe. The 17 year-old admitted his actions to the officers and was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a domestic animal under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
In due course he pleaded guilty. I wasn’t in court but in a news report, the sheriff hearing the case at Forfar, Sheriff Kevin Veal, is reported to have said, ‘To put a small, defenceless animal inside a microwave and then activate the oven, with the injuries the animal thereafter sustained is altogether appalling and utterly unacceptable.’
I certainly agree with him. He sentenced the youth to 120 hours of community service, ordered him to pay compensation of £150 towards the vet’s fees and banned him from keeping animals for 7 years. Sheriff Veal acknowledged that he had considered a custodial sentence to emphasise the disgusting character of the offence but did not believe this would challenge the youth’s problems. He added, ‘I recognise the appalling actions of the accused, and I also appreciate the necessity that any disposals pronounced today will express the outrage of the wider community.’
This had already turned out to be the case. It is not surprising that when locals learned of what he had done, the youth was a figure of hate in the small market town. There were angry scenes outside the court after he was sentenced. Abuse and eggs were hurled at him and he had to be escorted from the court in a police van.
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