Police in Charlotte, NC, are investigating after a kitten was thrown from a car at a group demonstrating the Japanese dolphin hunt. A national non-profit group, the Animal Legal Defense Fund ("ADLF"), is offering a reward of $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person, or persons, involved.
The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. in Charlotte Square. Witnesses say a silver/pearl-colored, newer model Hyundai Sonata with tinted windows stopped for a red light at the intersection near the demonstrators. When the light changed, someone in the car threw a 6 - 8 week-old kitten to the ground near the demonstrators, as the vehicle sped off.
Save Japan Dolphin protest organizer, Bruce Pinckney, said he still can’t believe what happened.
“A guy stopped and threw a kitten out into the street in front of us,” he said.
“When the kitten impacted the street, its leg broke, it panicked, it ran in like a semicircle and was in obvious extreme pain.”
Although the demonstrators immediately tried to help the kitten, it died about 10 minutes later from shock and internal injuries.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were able to locate the car involved in the incident on surveillance video from uptown cameras, but it appeared that the vehicle's license plate had been removed.
The activists had met on Sunday to show their support for Japan Dolphin Day, which is an effort raise awareness about dolphin slaughter in Japan.
Under North Carolina Code Section 14-360(b) the crime could be charged as a class H felony . If convicted, the perpetrator could face six months in custody on a first offense.
“Horrific abuse like this indicates that an extremely dangerous personality is at large,” said Stephen Wells, ALDF’s executive director. “For the safety of animals, and of our communities, we call on anyone with knowledge of this abuse to come forward. Abusers almost always repeat violence against helpless animals and victimize humans as well.”
Anyone with information leading to the identity of the perpetrators is urged to call the Animal Legal Defense Fund at 707-795-2533, x1010, or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.