Cruelty charges laid against 20-year-old, youths in shocking case of cat abuse
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:48AM PST
Last Updated Thursday, November 23, 2017 12:29PM PST
Mounties say cruelty charges have been laid in a disturbing incident in which a cat was allegedly drugged with MDMA, shaved, bleached and thrown out of a window in the Cowichan Valley.
Josh Lemire, 20, has been arrested and charged with one count of causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal, according to court documents.
Lemire was eventually released from custody Wednesday and will make his next court appearance on Jan. 16.
Investigators said Thursday additional charges of causing an animal to suffer were laid against a 16-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy.
All three of the accused were released on conditions including no contact with the victim or each other, no consuming any intoxicating substances and no possessing or caring for pets or animals.
Cowichan resident Sharline Haglund says her daughter was sent Snapchat videos and pictures of the family's one-year-old cat, Gigi, being shaved and abused early Tuesday morning.
The messages were allegedly sent by former friends of Haglund's daughter who were familiar with the cat.
"Your cat loves molly," part of the caption reads in one of the images, referring to the party drug also known as MDMA or ecstasy.
The cat was missing for the majority of the day Tuesday, sparking concern that it could be suffering from MDMA toxicity and may not be found alive.
But somebody found the cat at around 7:30 p.m. and reunited it with Haglund and her daughter.
Haglund said everything the people in the video said they would do was done to the cat: she was shaved, the number 666 was written in her ear, and there appeared to be bleach marks on her back.
20-year old Joshua Lemire has been charged with causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal in the alleged abuse of the cat "Gigi" in the Cowichan Valley. Cat is ok, tested positive this morning for MDMA, has been partially shaved, fur looks like it has been bleached. pic.twitter.com/Ih91aDRsYK— Andrew Johnson (@CTVNewsAndrew) November 22, 2017
She took the cat to the veterinarian Wednesday morning and said a vet confirmed the cat's blood tested positive for MDMA.
RCMP are pleading with the public to let them complete their investigation and not take matters into their own hands due to the disturbing allegations involved.
Although we can appreciate that this matter has upset many people, vigilantism will not be tolerated," said RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Tammy Douglas in a statement.
The SPCA is also involved and the incident remains under investigation.