Cat advocates urged to help bring justice to cat killed in Brookhaven shelter

May 19, 2016

According to a May 16 post on Facebook: In Defense of Animals community page, cat advocates are urged to help bring justice to a cat named Tilly, who was killed in a Brookhaven, Mississippi shelter in March.

In mid-March, a man entered walked into the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League shelter and asked to see their kittens. When told there were no kittens available at that time, the man was shown to the cat room. The shelter attendant had no idea she had allowed a monster time to commit an unimaginable act of animal cruelty when she excused herself in order to care for a dog that needed immediate attention.
When the shelter attendant returned a few minutes later, she found a little gray cat named Tilly lying lifelessly on the floor, blood around her, with a broken stick nearby. Tilly had recently been turned into the shelter after her owner passed away. She never got the chance to be adopted into a new, loving home. The Brookhaven shelter had video cameras, which caught the attacker on video. This evidence led to the cat killer being identified and arrested.

A candlelight vigil was held for Tilly at the Brookhaven Municipal Court House in Lincoln County, with 31 animal advocates showing up to honor her on the day her killer, Jody Cothron, was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge for killing her. Despite being shown as the only person to enter or leave the cat room while the shelter attendant was absent, Cothran entered a plea of “not guilty.”

Cothron was charged under § 97-41-16 Maliciously Injuring Dogs or Cats. In Mississippi, this is considered a first offense misdemeanor described as “If a person with malice shall intentionally torture, mutilate, maim, burn, starve or disfigure any domesticated dog or cat, or cause any person to do the same.” The very worst punishment Cothron faces is a fine of not more than $2,500 and no more than six months in jail.

Judge Brad Boener is taking this case seriously and strongly recommended Cothron to secure an attorney. Animal advocates are hoping Judge Boener will continue to take the case seriously, as it’s being reported Tilly isn’t the first animal Cothron has killed. Brookhaven Animal Rescue League representatives are working hard persuading those who know his past to come forward with their accounts of his animal cruelty.

Cothron is set to go before the court June 28, 2016. Until then, animal advocates throughout Mississippi will hold events and keep the pressure on lawmakers, legislators, and members of the council until the laws in Mississippi are strengthened to more than a slap on the wrist. Mississippians have a strong contempt for animal abusers and want their laws to reflect this.

Please share Tilly’s story with friends. Contact information for the Brookhaven Municipal Court can be found here. Phone calls and faxes are encouraged, as they carry more weight than petitions.

 

 

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