ZEPHYRHILLS — A 27-year-old Wendy's cashier was arrested Wednesday and charged with animal cruelty after Pasco deputies say he killed an 8-week-old kitten.
According to a Pasco sheriff's arrest report, on April 24 Kevin James Kelly chased the 2-pound male kitten in front of his trailer on Alway Avenue and shot it repeatedly with an air gun.
The kitten was hit numerous times and died from the shots.
Kelly told neighbors the kitten had mange and he wanted to end its misery, according to the report.
"Generally, mange is very easily treated," said Dr. Heidi Goss, a veterinarian at Quail Hollow Animal Hospital in Wesley Chapel. Many cat rescue groups come into her office to buy $10 applications of flea medicine to treat affected animals, she said.
An examination of the kitten's body, which deputies said Kelly buried, revealed it did not suffer from the condition. The Sheriff's Office investigated the case after someone filed a complaint with Pasco Animal Control.
A woman who answered the phone at Kelly's house did not want to speak to a reporter.
In 2005, Kelly was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in jail for impersonating a law enforcement officer, records show. He also served almost four years for two 1999 burglaries. Kelly is in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Helen Anne Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 521-6518.