The search is on for someone who may have thrown kittens out of a moving vehicle during rush hour traffic on Mopac.
The Austin Police Department said they received multiple 911 calls Tuesday morning of someone throwing kittens out of a window as they were driving.
Ron Cho from Round Rock said he saw multiple kittens on the highway. The first one near Camp Mabry on his way into work “At first, I didn’t think it was an animal, I thought it was a plastic bag, tumbling on the road in front of me. As soon as I passed it, I checked my side mirror, and saw a little kitten got up and ran toward the railroad tracks.”
The second he saw on Mopac near Bee Caves Road, “I saw another cat still lying on the ground, and I could see the little paw still shaking. I stopped the car and got out, frantically waving my hands to stop the cars behind me.” Cho said he scooped up the kitten, and put it in his truck. Frantically, he made phone calls trying to find someone to help. “I was just looking at the cat in passenger seat floor. As I was telling the person what happened, I could see that the cat was dying, and I was just very upset that I couldn't reach somebody soon enough to save the cat. I put my hand on the cat, and I could feel that the cat was taking the last breath before it was dying. It died in my hand. All I saw was a cold body laying on the floor, lifeless.” He said.
APD Officers said when they responded, they found another dead kitten on the service road of Mopac near Highway 290. Senior Police Officer John Majefski said the Austin Police Department takes all crimes against animals very seriously, “It's a Class A Misdemeanor, which is the highest misdemeanor possible, you could be placed in jail for up to one year, and have a $4000 fine,” he said.
Cho said he has a kitten of his own, so it was a very personal and emotional experience for him. He buried the kitten he tried to rescue in his backyard. “I wanted to name the cat. I didn't want to bury the cat without giving it a name. My wife said lets name her Star, so she can go back to the sky where she came from, and never have to come back to this cruel world again,” he said.
APD said they are hoping to speak with those drivers that called 911. They were only able to get statements from two drivers including Cho, who didn't actually see anyone throwing the kittens from a vehicle. So, they haven’t ruled out if the cats maybe were stuck in a vehicle.
If you do have any information, you're asked to contact the Animal Cruelty Tip Line at 512-978-0523.
The FBI now tracks animal cruelty cases. According to their website, "Acts of cruelty against animals are now counted alongside felony crimes like arson, burglary, assault, and homicide in the FBI’s expansive criminal database. On January 1, the Bureau’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) began collecting detailed data from participating law enforcement agencies on acts of animal cruelty, including gross neglect, torture, organized abuse, and sexual abuse."