Last night, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested Brooklyn resident Monique Smith for fatally injuring an adult female hamster. During a heated argument with a family member, the 19-year-old squeezed the hamster with her bare hands and threw the pet across the street.
“Inflicting such severe injury on a helpless hamster signals the potential for violence directed at other vulnerable victims,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the Humane Law Enforcement. “Fortunately in New York, all pets, even hamsters, are covered under the felony animal cruelty law.”
The deceased hamster was taken by Agents to the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital for a necropsy. Results revealed that the small animal had suffered blunt force trauma, liver damage and an associated hemorrhage.
Smith was arrested by Special Agent Patrick Breen. She was charged with one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony; one count of cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor; and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. If convicted, she faces up to two years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
We need you on our side! If you suspect an animal may be the victim of neglect or abuse, please report it. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty in your neighborhood.