A Jackson, Mississippi, woman, who allegedly burned a cat before posting an image of it online, faces the prospect of prison after being charged with aggravated cruelty to dogs or cats.
Latika Houston, 23, is accused of posting the image of the cat on Facebook on Aug. 30 and boasting about what she did.
The picture appeared on an account under the name Shay Houston, accompanied by a caption which read, “I should take it to the backyard and finish it off … stay away from my house!!!”
“I swear I do not like animals but the hate I have for CATS!!!!” Houston added in another post, according to the Clarion Ledger. “BUUUUURN LIL (expletive)!!! BUUUURNNNN!!!! Hahahahahahaaaa!!!! Gone learn this morning!!”
Some commenters reacted by telling her to take the post down in case of legal action.
"Yes I burned the dam cat BIG (expletive) DEAL OH WELL!!!!" she wrote in response to a commenter criticizing her action. "Bet they stay away from my house now."
“LOL suck it up man just the furr was burned bit was still breathing,” she wrote in response to another commenter.
The incident was described as “heartbreaking” by Valerie Hicks of the Community Animal Rescue and Adoption board.
“Cases like this are why we in Mississippi need to step up to the plate and demand better animal protection laws and proper enforcement of those laws,” said Hicks, the board’s chairwoman. “In the state of Mississippi, I just don’t think that our companion animals are given the protection from law enforcement that they deserve, particularly being that we’re the only voice they have.”
Houston continued to be unapologetic in later comments.
“I guess cats don’t have 9 lives,” she wrote. "I’m done with the cat thing tho gosh it was just a dam cat maybe if we’re a puppy it would’ve been so different puppy’s are cute n not irritating."
“It starts with animals and ends with humans, so we need to wake up and pay attention to people like that,” Hicks said.
Jackson Police Officer Colendula Green initially said evidence against Houston was insufficient. WJTV’s report on the issuing of the warrant did not mention what had changed to enable charges to be brought.
If convicted, Houston could face six months in prison, up to $2,500 in fines, or both.