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Documents: Man sexually abused, tortured girlfriend's kitten

By: Genevieve Curtis
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- A Las Cruces man was charged with extreme cruelty to animals after allegedly torturing his girlfriend's kitten.

Police arrested Matthew Montes for allegedly abusing Lulu, his girlfriend's 6-month-old kitten.

According to the criminal complaint, Montes intentionally or maliciously tortured Lulu by placing her in scalding hot water. The kitten was burned so badly it may require skin grafts.

His girlfriend also told Police that Montes admitted to strangling the cat until it lost consciousness.

The complaint also stated Montes admitted to his girlfriend that he penetrated the cat's vagina and rectum with  sticks and that he killed cats in his childhood.

When KFOX14 went to Montes' house, someone answered the door and said Montes wasn't home and didn't know of the allegations.

Veterinarian Dr. Beth  Vesco-Mock, executive director of the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley, said she did not treat Lulu but read the criminal  complaint. This is the second reported animal cruelty case against a feline in Las Cruces in less than one week.

"They are mammals just like we are. They have feelings just like we do. They have the same pain receptors that we have. They have everything that we have. Physiologically they are the same as us. So what would inflict pain on you or I also causes them tremendous amounts of pain," said Vesco-Mock.

Last week, a cat named Rosie was found after someone set it on fire.

Vesco-Mock had to euthanize Rosie, and she believed Rosie was also abused before being torched.

"It was just very, very, sad because she was talking the whole time," said Vesco-Mock. All of Rosie's fur was singed so much so that Vesco-Mock had a hard time discerning what color she was to begin  with. Rosie also suffered serious burns.

Animal cruelty is a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico. If convicted, Montes faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Vesco-Mock said unfortunately a lot of people take pleasure in inflicting pain on  animals, but she  warned the violence often escalates from abusing animals to humans.

"When you are capable of committing this kind of wasn't an accident. It was not misunderstanding," said Vesco-Mock. "This is 100 percent intentional. Both of these cats, cruelty cases, were 100 percent intentional," she added.

Vesco-Mock said people may try to associate the recent string of cat cruelty with  Halloween, but she said there's no connection.

"I do not believe this has anything to do with Halloween coming up and the satanic rituals that may or may not occur. That's not like that; this is a totally different type of cruelty," said Vesco-Mock.

Police are still looking for the person or persons responsible for torturing Rosie.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.



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