UPDATE: Arrest made in animal abuse case of burned kitten - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Arrest made in animal abuse case of burned kitten

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Justice for Katniss Facebook Justice for Katniss Facebook
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - UPDATE: An arrest has been made in the animal cruelty case involving an 8-week old kitten. 

Thirty-one-year-old Gary Westfield was taken in custody Tuesday afternoon. 

Officials say he set the kitten on fire. 

"Katniss" was rushed to the emergency clinic with an infection from her burns and died early sunday. 

Officials say several witnesses came forward and identified Westfield as the suspect. 

Police credit the positive relationship between detectives and the community to serving "Justice for Katniss".

Evie West, Cleveland Police P.I.O., " I think a lot of people got very attached to this kitten, attached to the situation, and just seeing the injuries that the kitten sustained, it's very disturbing, and we're all so grateful for all those in the community that heard about this story and called in and said I want to put my money to help... the actions that they did."

Cleveland Police discovered the incident didn't take place where it was initially reported which was at 9th and Wildwood.  It actually happened at Gaut Street around Central Avenue. 

Officials say Westfield has a lengthy criminal past, he's charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. He's scheduled to be arraigned in court Wednesday morning.


PREVIOUS STORY: Katniss was rushed to the emergency clinic overnight Saturday. She was battling sepsis, an inflammation caused by infection, and a feeding tube was put in. Doctors say she showed signs of improvement Saturday morning but ultimately passed away Sunday.

Dr. Todd Dolen updated on the Justice for Katniss Facebook that she passed away peacefully.

READ MORE | Burned kitten is recovering as Cleveland Police look for person responsible

The reward to help bring justice to Katniss has been raised thanks to a few locals.
More than $1,000 is being offered for any information leading to an arrest.

Cleveland Police tell Channel 3 at this time they believe it could be a group of young males. The case of animal cruelty resulted in severe burns and one of her legs being amputated.

The doctors and caretakers who cared for Katniss plan to use the incident to bring awareness to animal cruelty.
A special account has been opened up for anyone wishing to contribute to the reward. Monies are accepted at the City of Cleveland Municipal Building located at 190 Church Street N.E. The account number is 999 110-36735.

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