DECATUR — A Decatur man is facing animal torture charges after a Facebook post showing a cat being held up by its neck was spotted by a feline rescue center in Stoney Point, New York.
A sworn affidavit from Sgt. Matt Reynolds, the Macon County Animal Control & Care Center administrator, said the 20-year-old man was traced and arrested Friday at his home in the 1300 block of West Wood Street.
He was booked on preliminary charges of animal torture, a Class 3 felony, and the depiction of animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state’s attorney’s office.
Writing in a sworn affidavit, Reynolds said a dispatcher at his office was contacted by a 53-year-old woman who runs a feline rescue center 900 miles away in Stoney Point. She had seen a Facebook post on a friend’s page that showed a white-and-dark cat being held up with a hand “clenched around its neck” as if being strangled.
Reynolds said the woman’s friend was not connected with the abuse but “knew of it happening in Decatur, Illinois, as well as who did it.” The woman who runs the feline rescue center had then forwarded a copy of the picture to the Macon County Animal Control & Care Center.
“The photo contained a Snapchat username and information that was later correlated to the Snapchat account of (the Decatur suspect),” added Reynolds. He said the cat, which was not injured, was found in the man’s home during his arrest and confiscated by animal control officers.
Reynolds said the man “admitted to holding his cat up by the neck while he took a Snapchat photo of it approximately one month previous” to his arrest. “And he admitted to sharing the photo on his Snapchat account, which has approximately 130 followers,” Reynolds said.
The man is free after posting $5,000 bail. His bail conditions forbid him from having any contact with cats or any companion animal. He is due in court Oct. 9.