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Serial Cat Abuser Sentenced . . . to Treatment

California is a strange place. We're progressive on puppy and kitten mills. We're ahead of the game (but still behind where we could be) on...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jun 3rd 2010


California is a strange place. We’re progressive on puppy and kitten mills. We’re ahead of the game (but still behind where we could be) on farm animal welfare. Yet deranged psychopaths who deliberately torture cats get off with less than a slap on the wrist.

I’m all for treatment. I hope it works. But I also wouldn’t mind seeing some punishment in this very infuriating case.

From the San Francisco Chronicle.

Serial cat abuser ordered to receive treatment

An Oakland woman suspected of abusing more than 15 cats and kittens over the course of several years was ordered today to spend a year in a residential treatment center after pleading guilty to animal cruelty.

La Preda Thomas, 34, must undergo mental health and drug treatment at the center. She was also placed on probation for five years by Judge Morris Jacobson of Alameda County Superior Court.

The judge told Thomas she could not own any animals while she is on probation.

Thomas pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty and had been in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin since her arrest in October.

Thomas told authorities she rescued cats with unusual injuries, including broken limbs, puncture wounds and, in one case, a severely injured eye. But Oakland animal control officials believe she hurt the felines.

Thomas came to the attention of officials and animal rescue groups in 2006 when she was found with cats or kittens whose claws had been crudely cut off, sometimes with portions of their toes removed.

In 2007, animal-control officials seized kittens from Thomas’ home that had been left in a cage in the hot sun with no water, authorities said. Two of the kittens each had a front leg that was broken in almost identical locations.

In case you had any doubt about Ms. Thomas’ character (and whether perhaps punishment might be more appropriate than treatment for this person), here is the most infuriating part.

Because Thomas was on probation for burglary, authorities searched her home in July and again in September. They found kittens whose every limb was either freshly broken or healing from a fracture.

“This was torture,” Oakland Animal Services Director Megan Webb said today. “These animals suffered tremendously.”

That’s right: she was already on probation. Folks, more probation is not what La Preda Thomas needs. Prison obviously is more appropriate.