LAWRENCE — A city man is facing animal cruelty charges after he allegedly threw a 4-week-old cat, breaking the kitten’s jaw.
Animal Control Officer Ellen Bistany issued Edwin Hernandez, 30, of 32 Lawrence St., room 37, a summons for the animal cruelty charges after investigating a report of a “kitten that was dying” at Hernandez’s rooming house on Thursday afternoon.
Bistany first spoke with a fellow tenant who said Hernandez had the injured cat in his room. She believed he threw the kitten at a wall because it scratched him, according to Bistany’s report. The woman also said she saw Hernandez strike the small black cat in the head several times too.
When she spoke with him, Hernandez said the kitten, named “Shana,” was his. The kitty was a gift given to him two weeks earlier. Bistany examined the kitten and saw blood coming from its mouth, the jaw hanging in an abnormal position and it’s right eye and face appeared to be swollen, she wrote.
He denied hurting the cat and said “someone must have came into my room while I was sleeping and hurt my cat.” He also told Bistany he got angry with the kitten after she defecated on his bed.
Saying he didn’t have any money, Hernandez agreed to surrender the kitten to Bistany. She took the cat to Johnson Veterinary Hospital for immediate care. An X-ray revealed the kitten’s jaw was broken on both sides. The kitten was also a male, not female as Hernandez said.
“Dr. Johnson told me the kitten had some sort of blunt force trauma to its head, most likely not from a fall off a bed,” Bistany wrote.
Hernandez, because he was issued a summons, is entitled a hearing before a clerk magistrate. If the clerk determines sufficient evidence exists, Hernandez will then be arraigned on animal cruelty charges.
Donations are also sought for the kitten’s medical care at Johnson Veterinary Hospital, 160 Winthrop Ave., Lawrence, Mass. 01843.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.