MEDIA RELEASE: Justice for Tortured Kittens at Hand
OXFORD, Miss. (Oct. 12, 2023) — Representatives of In Defense of Animals and Tubbs Spay & Neuter Project attended a docket hearing today at the Lafayette County Courthouse to see justice for the victims of Carl Travis Jr. and Dontavious Smith who produced a Snapchat video of Travis brazenly bashing and smashing tiny kittens. Neither defendant appeared in court. Smith was a no show in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest which would lead to revoking his bond. Travis was absent because he was arrested in Grenada County on a felony armed robbery charge.
Travis and Smith were each indicted on four felony charges for acting in concert to unlawfully, willfully, feloniously and intentionally torture, mutilate, maim, crush and disfigure four kittens in violation of statute 97-47-16 (2.) (b.) of the Mississippi Code of 1972, strengthened in 2020.
Doll Stanley, Justice for Animals Senior Campaigner at In Defense of Animals said, “It is a certainty that animal abusers are sociopaths who gratify themselves with no respect for the welfare of fellow humans any more than the animals they cruelly terrorize and torture.”
Travis was identified as sadistically and methodically torturing four kittens, bashing them in the air, and stabbing and smashing one with a battery while Smith videoed him. The men proudly posted the video to Snapchat on July 25, 2022. The Oxford Police Department swiftly obtained an arrest warrant for Travis and arrested him on July 26 at his family’s Grenada residence in cooperation with the Grenada Police Department.
Travis met his $5,000 bond and was bound over to the grand jury at his arraignment. Smith was later identified, arrested, and bound over to the grand jury. Both men were indicted for their crimes.
In October 2022, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Senior Campaigner Doll Stanley and Cyd Dunlap of Tubbs Spay & Neuter Project met with then Lafayette County Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Kilpatrick and presented her with 16,526 signatures supporting Travis and Smith’s prosecution. The petition can be presented to the presiding judge during the sentencing phase of the two men’s trials.
Kilpatrick assured the advocates and her constituents that the District Attorney’s Office intends to seek incarceration for both men.
For each count, Travis and Smith each face a $5,000 fine, incarceration for up to three years, or both. Additionally, the men can be ordered to undergo a psychiatric or psychological evaluation and treatment at their expense, perform community service and be enjoined from owning and living or working with cats or dogs.
Although videos depicting animal cruelty are undoubtedly disturbing, they often lead to the arrest and conviction of offenders, whether they are posted to social media or not.
“Horrifying cases of animal cruelty like this are occurring across the nation. It’s deeply troubling and raises serious concerns about offenders escalating their violent inclinations. While disturbing, videos depicting horrors posted on social media provide an opportunity to apprehend an abuser, and they must be used to prevent the torment of future victims,” said Stanley.
In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals campaign has defended and saved thousands of animals, assisting through cruelty investigations, strengthening laws, and enforcing animal cruelty statutes and ordinances in the Deep South for 30 years.
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Images and Video (Warning: video contains graphic content): https://bit.ly/SnapchatKittens
October 19, 2022
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Contact: Doll Stanley, [email protected], (662) 809-4483
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of defending animals, people and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in California, India, South Korea and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/justice4animals
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