Woman charged with animal cruelty after stomping kitten
Story by Megan Boatwright
Eyewitness News Reporter
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- A kitten was stomped to death right in front of a police officer on Thanksgiving night.
It is something the local animal center has never heard of.
The woman accused of attacking the animal is in trouble with the law.
It all started when police answered a call on Youngstown Road, and found a severely intoxicated Cathleen Anne Juras.
The director of McKamey Animal Center says they've never seen anything like this in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga Police were there to deal with the woman. McKamey was there because someone reported a dog bit a child.
As police led Juras away in handcuffs, they say she stomped the kitten's head, killing it.
Neighbors and the people who live at the home did not want to talk to us on camera.
But off camera, the man who owns the home says 44-year-old Cathleen Juras is a friend of his sister's and lives there with her sister, him, and his children.
Drinking on Thanksgiving led to the violent ending.
"We deal with animal cruelty, unfortunately, quite often. But that type of violence that causes a death right in front of the police officers, we haven't dealt with before," says McKamey Director Karen Walsh.
The homeowner says he doesn't know why police were called to his house.
He arrived home right as they were arresting Juras.
He says his children were upset by what happened. In addition to animal cruelty, Juras was charged with assault, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
"It's unusual for police officers to be in a situation where they're the ones that bring animal cruelty charges. Usually that's something that we would do," says Walsh.
Karen Walsh with the McKamey Animal Center says one of her officers was also called to the home that night, for another incident involving a dog.
"Our officer was actually called out because their dog had become loose from its chain and had bitten one of their children," says Walsh.
The child received a bite to the hand. Walsh says it's troubling to know there are children in the same home as someone who would brutally kill a small animal.
"Often times children are abused in a situation where animals are abused, so it's very important that people are aware of that," says Walsh.
Walsh says it's part of McKamey protocol to also contact Child Protective Services whenever children are in the home of someone charged with animal abuse.
"It's really not our case at this point because they brought the charges it would be their case, but we would certainly discuss that with them," says Walsh.
Chattanooga Police say the reason they filed the charge in this case is because the kitten was killed in front of the officer.
It is rare for police to file animal cruelty charges but not unheard of.
A police spokesperson says contacting Child Protective Services is McKamey's policy, not theirs.