JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Marion County man was arrested Monday after deputies said he used garden shears to chop the tails off several four-week-old kittens following a dispute with their owner.
James Steele Reid, 68, was booked into the Marion County jail on a charge of animal cruelty, and was later released after posting $2,000 bond, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said Reid got into an argument with the cats' owner at the farm where he volunteers after being told not to touch the animals.
In retaliation, Reid grabbed some garden scissors and told a co-worker he was going to chop the kittens' tails off, deputies said.
"He told witnesses that he wanted the victim to 'look at those cats and think of him," the Sheriff's Office stated in a Facebook post detailing the arrest.
Reid then drove over to the barn where the kittens were kept. When he emerged from the structure, he was carrying four kitten tails, ClickOrlando.com reported. He reportedly said he lost the fifth tail.
Veterinarians concluded the kittens' tails had been docked improperly because of the kittens' age, the lack of anesthetic used and their wounds not being stitched up afterward.