Jones County mother, son witness kitten killed with hedge shears

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Right before Christmas a Jones County mother and son witnessed someone intentionally killing a kitten.

Tia Marie Puckett Brown said the scene was so horrific it was like watching a horror movie. She said they were driving home from the store on Service Road when they spotted Warren Holifield cutting up the kitten in his front yard. Brown says Holifield kept cutting up the kitten until it was dead.

"He then actually raised up the shears toward me and started using his finger to call me over to him," said Brown. "There was no way I was going near him after what I just saw happen."

Brown says she drove up the road and called 911. When the deputy arrived she told him what they had witnessed. The deputy went to the home to speak with Holifield. When he returned he told her the man admitted to killing the kitten, saying it was a stray and he was tired of it getting into the vents of his home.

Brown says the deputy told her there was not much he could do except file a report. She said he advised her to file a complaint with Justice Court. Brown said the deputy was responsive to her complaint, but feels more could have been done.

"The only thing I do not understand why more wasn't done right there at the moment. The man did admit to the deputy he did do it."

Lydia Sattler, State Director for the Humane Society of the United States says the Mississippi Cat and Dog Protection Act passed in 2011 states that "If a person shall intentionally torture, mutilate, maim, burn, starve, or disfigure any domesticated dog or cat or cause any person to do the same, then he or she shall be guilty of the offense of aggravated animal cruelty."

In a statement about the incident Sattler said:

"With what we know about the link between animal cruelty and human violence, this case should be taken seriously by those sworn to protect its citizens.  If indeed this man chopped and sliced this kitten up because he was angry and/or frustrated with the animal as he indicated, it would be negligent to say the act is not illegal.  If the law is written in such a way, that our law enforcement see's this act as acceptable then it's time to open up the statute again and get it right.  I can't see any time where it should be acceptable or appropriate to chop an animal up alive with a tool used for yard work.  I think it is shameful that this act is even being questioned as to whether it is 'ok' or not.  This is where we need good, strong, moral men and women as leaders and standing up for what is right in our state."

Brown says she has filed animal cruelty charges against Holifield in Jones County Justice Court. They informed her she will be notified when a court date is set.

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