Case Snapshot
Case ID: 14467
Classification: Beating, Kicking/Stomping
Animal: cat
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Saturday, Aug 23, 2008

County: Lake

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Jack T. Henderson

A 47-year-old Zion man who "disciplined" one of his pet cats to death was arrested Aug. 23 and charged with animal torture and aggravated cruelty to animals.

Officers responding to an animal abuse report at an apartment building at 3447 Sheridan Road found Jack T. Henderson at the building's entrance, with his cat, "Winnie," lying beside him.

The animal was in obvious severe distress, police reported, bleeding profusely from its mouth, not moving, incapable of supporting its head, with labored and erratic breathing.

When officers asked Henderson what had happened, he said the 14-month-old cat had been "acting up" and scratched him. He told police he had "disciplined" the pet by "hitting the cat with his hands and feet."

Officers said Henderson smelled of alcohol and told them he drank "several beers" before disciplining the cat. He admitted having disciplined the cat "more than 10 times" before this incident, police reported.

"I got a little overboard" this time, police quoted Henderson, telling them that he stepped on the cat and may have collapsed a lung.

As officers interviewed him at the scene, Henderson became increasingly aggressive and uncooperative, refusing to follow directions not to touch or pick up the animal.

Henderson yelled an obscenity at police and added, "It's my cat."

He was then handcuffed, and when he struggled during a pat-down search, his faced was pushed against the hood of a squad car, breaking his glasses and inflicting a small cut near his eye.

In addition to the animal abuse charges, the state's attorney's office approved a charge of resisting a peace officer.

After waiving his Miranda rights, Henderson told police he loved his cat and had raised Winnie since she was 3 months old.

Because of its injuries, the cat was euthanized, leaving one other pet in Henderson's custody, police said.


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