EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 2, 2012

Woman gets 3 months in jail for beating cat

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — LAWRENCE – A city woman has been sentenced to three months in jail for beating a cat so severely it had to be put down.

Nancy Rivera, 34, address unknown, pleaded guilty yesterday to animal cruelty. She was also sentenced to two years’ probation and 60 hours of community service. She received 54 days credit toward her sentence, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokesperson for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

Brady, a gray colored cat was found June 18 in severe pain, hiding in a rented room in a small boarding house in Lawrence where the crime occurred. The cat’s owner lived in a room near the one occupied, at the time, by Rivera.

“Brady’s face was swollen and he had blood on his paws,” said investigating officer Martha Parkhurst, a veteran with 26 years of experience investigating and prosecuting for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “He was drooling and (the owner) confirmed that he was having trouble eating and was very quiet.”

Parkhurst learned through interviews with boarding house staff that Rivera had used the stick-end of a mop to first beat the panicked cat down a flight of stairs, then cornered him in a bathroom while continuing the assault. Rivera stopped only when staff intervened. She then fled to her room.

The owner said he did not take Brady to the veterinarian because he could not afford the treatment. Brady was ultimately taken to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, where X-rays confirmed a jaw injury so severe that the veterinary team concluded the kindest option would be to euthanize him.

The MSPCA-Angell Law Enforcement team works with the organization’s adoption centers, hospital and advocacy experts to investigate animal abuse in Massachusetts. In 2011, the department investigated over 2,300 animal cruelty complaints in the state.

In 2012, the MSPCA has filed criminal charges in eight new animal cruelty cases and continues pursuing multiple ongoing cases in various stages of completion.