A Franklin County man faces charges of aggravated animal cruelty after a police officer witnessed him throwing a bag of kittens out his car window.
Authorities say William Smith, 56, tossed the bag into a drainage ditch Sunday evening. The three kittens survived thanks to rescue efforts by police and fire officials.
“I turned off 7th Street on to Douglas, I observed a male throw an unknown object into a creek,” explained West Frankfort Officer James Trogolo.
Trogolo says he approached the man, who denied throwing anything into the ditch.
“Once I went down there and retrieved the bag, I quickly realized they were kittens,” he said. Trogolo cut open the bag to find the animals struggling to survive. He and his partner administered CPR and were able to quickly save two kittens.
“The third, we weren’t having so much luck with, so we rushed to the fire department,” said Trogolo. There, fire and police officials hooked the cat up to oxygen and gave it chest compressions. “My girls love cats,” said Trogolo. “They’ve always wanted kittens so I just thought of them and, you know, I wouldn’t want them to see anything like that.”
All three are now alive and doing well at his partner’s home. But as Animal Control Supervisor Anthony Skobel explains, many others aren’t so lucky. Animal abandonment is an every day occurrence.
“In our county it is growing exponentially,” insisted Skobel.
Skobel says that’s why his facility is here to offer stray animals a chance at a better life.
“It would be better for them to bring them to our facility here where we could maybe get them rescued or adopted, instead of throwing them in a ditch,” he said.
Skobel insists there are other ways to be a responsible pet owner.
“Every animal should be spayed or neutered that way you don’t have to wake up one morning and have a litter of kittens or a litter of puppies, wondering what do I do?” said Skobel.