Case Snapshot
Case ID: 15984
Classification: Beating, Burning - Fire or Fireworks
Animal: cat
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Animal was offleash or loose
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Saturday, Oct 3, 2009

County: Custer

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

» Colton Nielsen
» Joshua Yates
» Trevor Yates

Three Miles City men are awaiting arraignment in Custer County District Court on felony charges of aggravated animal cruelty by accountability, accused of choking a cat and then throwing it on a bonfire.

Arrested on warrants were Colton Nielsen, 18, and brothers Joshua Yates, 19, and Trevor Yates, 18. Nielsen has posted a $10,000 bond set in the warrant, while the Yates brothers remain in jail, according to Custer County Un-dersheriff Pat Roos.

The incident took place early on the morning of Oct. 3 at Kinsey Bridge fishing access, where several people were partying. There were cats nearby and one of the boys caught one, Roos said. The yellow, short-haired animal was choked and thrown into the flames.

The animal survived and was found later that day by people out for a walk. They took him to veterinarian Jean Lindley, owner of the East Main Animal Clinic, who found that the cat was badly burned on his right side and his tail, all of his toes and foot pads and genital area.

With a lot of care, medication and four surgeries, the cat, whose name is Squirt, a.k.a. Toasty, is back home with his owners. He lost his right rear leg and his tail.

Roos said his office had the names of the suspects early in the investigation, but the case didn’t come to a head until a witness came forward.

The witness said the cat burst into flames after it was tossed onto the fire.

Court documents said the three were overheard bragging and laughing about their part in the incident after seeing a picture of the injured cat in local news media.


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