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Man Jailed in Cat Cruelty Case

December 31, 1997

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) _ A man was sentenced to 30 days in jail for breaking the jaw of his daughter’s cat, Boots, because it meowed too much.

William Painter, 38, pleaded no contest to an animal cruelty charge and was also ordered to undergo counseling, pay $300 to an animal shelter and perform 80 hours of community service.

Painter was arrested Sunday after he struck the male tabby belonging to his 6-year-old daughter. He told police he was watching television when he became enraged by the cries of Boots, who was locked in the bathroom.

Painter told police he hit the animal twice, but lightly and ``with an open hand.″ Painter’s wife said she heard ``crashing, the cat hissing and screaming and him yelling.″

Painter apparently did not believe he had done something illegal at the time. ``What was wrong with hitting a cat?″ police said he asked.

Boots was treated for the jaw injury and both a broken and chipped tooth.

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