Bay Ridge resident James Whalen, a 35 year-old bike messenger, was arrested after he had tortured and beat his girlfriend's tabby cat to death while she was gone. He was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, which is a felony and the most severe animal abuse charge in the state. His girlfriend's mother found the cat, Darwin, who "had been repeatedly beaten about the face, and had bloody eyes, a broken jaw and a broken tail" (NY Post). The vets at Brooklyn Veterinary Emergency Service contacted the ASPCA when he saw the trauma and broken tail; Dr. Brett Levitsky said, "There had to be repeated strikes, mostly likely from someone's fists." The ASPCA had noted Darwin had been abused twice before, and after investigating the entire incident, ASPCA Special Agent Joseph Pentangelo arrested Whalen. The motive for the beating is not clear, though Special Agent Pentangelo said that Whalen clearly beat Whalen out of anger, and Whalen faces a $5,000 as well as prison time.

This is a horrible case, but it reinforces both the importance of the ASPCA, which is a resource to educate people about how to take care of their animals, as well as find people who mistreat them, and the fact that animal cruelty is not tolerated. Gothamist has seen Special Agent Pentangelo has arrested people people, as one of our favorite shows is Animal Precinct on Animal Planet. His bio is here (here's the ASPCA's page on the show as well).