Contact 13 Investigates
Teens accused of drowning kittens
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Contact 13 is investigating reports of two newborn kittens that were drowned earlier this week in the backyard of a northwest valley home. But it's not because they fell into a pool. Witnesses say they were intentionally killed.
Two teenagers are currently under investigation by the Las Vegas City Animal Control. The case could possibly lead to felony animal cruelty charges.
Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears talked with the woman who says she saw it all unfold before her eyes.
"I will never get that vision out of my mind. It's something I have to live with. I haven't slept. I haven't... it's sickening."
Christine Ohm couldn't have imagined the fate of the baby kittens that were born in her backyard.
A mother cat that was left behind by a family who lost their home to foreclosure chose the snug space behind Ohm's shed as a safe place to give birth to two kittens. They hung around for a couple of days then disappeared one morning earlier this week.
"And it was about 4 p.m. that day I heard the mama just screaming, like something was wrong. And I heard it over the fence. So then I heard the little baby kittens crying, and I thought maybe something was wrong with the cat. And I heard the boys -- I heard them laughing and what have you. So I was like, oh my god, something's wrong!"
When Christine heard the commotion in her neighbor's backyard, she went to get her ladder to see what was going on. When she climbed up and was able to peer over the wall, that's when she says she caught the two boys in the act of drowning the kittens.
"And I witnessed one dead kitten laying on the bar and the other one was dead, lifeless in a cup of water with the boys holding a tool -- barbecue tool -- that's how they drowned them."
She took pictures that have been turned over to Animal Control with her cell phone. You can see one, little, grey-striped kitten lying behind a large cup full of water and another submerged inside it.
"You can't murder a cat -- drown a cat in a cup of water, purposely! They could have called Animal Control. And they didn't. They chose to drown them. And I just think that's terrible."
Contact 13 called the home near Cheyenne and Cimmaron where the drowning allegedly happened. Someone answered but hung up after we identified ourselves. So we went to the house with our camera rolling, looking for answers.
"Hello? It's Darcy Spears from Channel 13. I'm wondering why you hung up the phone on me. Why don't you want to answer questions about the kittens?"
We saw a boy insidethe house, watching television.
"I can see you sitting right there. Why don't you answer the door?"
No one would talk to us.
Stacia Newman -- who'd been caring for the mother cat -- is another witness in the case. She was there when Animal Control talked with the family.
"It was so sad. It was heartbreaking. Brought tears to my eyes because here were those two little lifeless bodies laying on a paper towel in the kitchen, up on the counter, like trophies."
Neighbors say the mother cat has disappeared and they don't know whether she's been harmed.
Willful and malicious animal cruelty -- even a first offense -- can now be prosecuted as a felony thanks to a law authored by Nevada Voters for Animals.
They say this would be the first case in Southern Nevada to be prosecuted under that new law if charges are filed.
Animal Control is actively investigating and talking with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to determine which agency will take the lead.