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BC Man Sentenced To 4 Months In Jail For 'Torturous' Attack That Killed His Kitten

A neighbour heard the cries and called 911.

Western Canada Editor
A kitten.

A kitten.

This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.

A man in B.C. is now sentenced to jail time after admitting to attacking his kitten, which then had to be euthanized due to being "brutalized."

The attack led to cries loud enough that a neighbour heard it and called the police.

According to court documents, Yiming Zhu — who was 22 years old at the time of the incident — plead guilty, admitting to having "wilfully caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to a kitten," on May 20, 2021, in Vancouver.

The transcript describes how, at about 1:30 a.m. on May 20, a neighbour of Zhu heard "the sounds of an animal in distress," and then saw Zhu in his backyard "kicking a kitten and swinging it repeatedly by its tail."

It added that every time Zhu swang the kitten, it would smack against the concrete. After that, the neighbour saw Zhu move the kitten from one fence to another, before stepping on the animal.

After putting the animal on the grass in his yard, "he put his left foot on its head, pressing it to the ground, and pulled up its tail with his right hand. He then walked away," the document said.

After witnessing the abuse, the neighbour called the police, who arrived at about 1:52 a.m., and found the kitten alive but "barely moving."

Zhu was then arrested by the police, and the kitten was taken to an emergency clinic for animals. A doctor at the clinic found that the animal was "in critical distress," and it was then euthanized as it was "too severely injured to be treated."

Zhu did not dispute the facts of the incident and cooperated with the police. He also told the police that he bought the kitten in April 2021 and that it was the first one he owned.

He said that he was allergic to the animal, and "its daily care and management became a burden."

The court documents added that he was "annoyed" by the kitten not using the litterbox and that it would bite and scratch him. Zhu admitted that he wanted to "punish" the kitten after it bite and scratched him on the night of the incident, so proceeded to pick it up, swing it, smash it into the ground, and step on it.

The documents added that at the time of the incident Zhu was going to university and "feeling depressed and lonely."

Zhu was assessed by a doctor, and told them that he was "ashamed and embarrassed by his actions, and regrets the harm his offence has caused to his neighbours, his community and, in particular, his parents."

The doctor found that Zhu was "suffering from an adjustment disorder, with disturbance of mood and conduct," which is now resolved.

The doctor also found that he was "at low risk of reoffending in a violent way."

The judge who sentenced Zhu said that his treatment of the kitten was "torturous," and that the animal "lost its life directly as result of Mr. Zhu's violence and cruelty."

After taking into consideration Zhu's social isolation, mental health pressures and other factors, the judge sentenced him to four months of jail time and prohibited him from having a pet for 25 years.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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