Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18328
Classification: Poisoning
Animal: cat
More cases in Lancaster County, NE
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Animal was offleash or loose
Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Monday, Jun 27, 2011

County: Lancaster

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: John Lenzen

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office cited 35-year-old John Lenzen, of 4611 W. Ramsey Road, for animal cruelty after he admitted to poisoning kittens with antifreeze. One of the kittens died and two others are fighting for their lives.

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner says sometime between 10:00 p.m. June 27 and 8:00 a.m. June 29, Lenzen put antifreeze in the kittens' water bowl.

He says the owners noticed the kittens were lethargic and discovered the antifreeze.

"We never meant for any of this to happen to them," Brianna Wagner said.

For 11-year-old Jaden Seevers and 10-year-old Brianna Wagner, playing with kittens was a daily routine. About a month ago, the girls found 8 kittens near a shop Seever's father owns. Then one day five kittens disappeared. A week later, on the drive to the shop, Seever's mother told the girls some bad news.

"She said it was anti-freeze. The first word of poison, I was bawling," Seevers said.

The Sheriff's Office says Lenzen admitted he put anti-freeze in their water bowl. One cat named Peach died during the night.

"Someone found him dead in the office with his brothers. His brothers thought he was alive because they were meowing, trying to wake him up," Seevers said.

The girls spent Wednesday caring for the other sick kitten named Blackout.

"He keeps getting petrified and we can't have him petrified because he could die. He doesn't know what he's doing," Wagner said.

Another cat named Sherbet was lucky he didn't drink the poison. Veterinarian Shelly Gissler says the anti-freeze causes kidney failure.

"I heard that a lot of animal's get into a die but this was not an accident," Wagner said.

It takes as little as a half teaspoon of anti-freeze to kill a kitten.

"I don't want my kittens to die just because some guy doesn't like them," Seevers said.

"They don't deserve to die. They have not right to die. He had no right to touch them," Wagner said.

Although they're just kids, Seevers and Wagner are showing maturity beyond their years.

"When it's fall the flowers will fall off and fall on his grave," Seevers said.

In Nebraska, animal cruelty is a class one misdemeanor, punishable by a year in prison and/or a $1,000 dollar fine. If the animal is seriously injured or dies, the offense becomes a class 4 felony.

Lenzen could face up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 if convicted of animal cruelty.

Wagner says Lenzen admitted to poisoning the kittens because they were leaving fecal matter in his yard.

Lenzen rents a bay in the victim's shop at 600 Fletcher Avenue.


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