Hope the Heroin Kitten

August 5, 2014

Man Charged With Animal Cruelty After Kitten Given Heroin

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan and West Whiteland Police Chief Joseph Catov announced the arrest of defendant James Myers for animal cruelty and drug charges. The defendant was caught by the police in the process of abusing a kitten. The kitten had been choked with a rope, was bleeding, and had been given heroin. The kitten was revived by a veterinarian who administered Narcan. The defendant was in possession of heroin and heroin paraphernalia. District Attorney Tom Hogan stated, “The abuse of this kitten was a singularly depraved act. Heroin addicts abuse themselves, animals, and children without remorse or regret. What punishment is severe enough for this type of evil?”

Chief Catov stated, “Our department is working closely with the District Attorney’s Office in order to bring this case to a successful conclusion. We are thankful that the kitten was saved.”

The defendant resides on the 1300 block of Mary Jane Lane, West Chester, PA. He is 24 years old.

The facts alleged in the criminal complaint are as follows:

On Sunday, August 3, 2014, at approximately 4:40 a.m., West Whiteland Police Officer Marc Meshurle was patrolling Dunwoody Drive in West Whiteland Township. The officer spotted the defendant parked in the middle of the street with his driver’s door open. Under the driver’s door was a small black kitten. The kitten’s neck was bound tightly with rope. The kitten was bleeding from its face and several teeth had been knocked out. Spray painted on the roadway near the vehicle was the phrase “SLAM IT YOU PU$$Y.” The kitten appeared to have been dragged and/or slammed into the ground. Police executed a search warrant on the vehicle. Police found bundles of heroin, hundreds of used bags of heroin, 46 hypodermic needles commonly used for ingesting heroin, rope which matched the rope used on the kitten, and a small box with cat feces in it.

The kitten was taken to a veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Magilton at the HOPE Veterinary Clinic in Malvern, PA. The kitten was suffering from head trauma, was lethargic, and was not responding. Initially, there was discussion about euthanizing the kitten because of its condition. However, when the veterinarian heard all of the circumstances of the case combined with the kitten’s physical condition, she determined that the kitten had been given heroin. The veterinarian administered Narcan to the kitten. Narcan, the trade name for the drug Naloxone, is an opioid antagonist commonly given to humans who have overdosed on heroin.

When the Narcan was administered, the kitten immediately revived. In the absence of an opiate such as heroin in the kitten’s system, the Narcan would have had no effect on the kitten. The kitten currently is recovering at the veterinary clinic and eventually will be transferred to another facility for adoption.

The defendant has been charged with cruelty to animals, drug possession, and related charges.

District Attorney Hogan added, “There is no excuse for cruelty to a defenseless animal. The West Whiteland Police Department should be commended for intervening to stop this abuse. Dr. Magilton should be praised for her quick thinking to save the kitten’s life.”

Anybody with any further information should contact West Whiteland Police Officer Marc Meshurle at 610-363-0200.
*A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

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Approved for release:
Thomas P. Hogan

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