MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The Jackson County District Attorney's Office has joined the Moss Point Police Department in investigating a "disturbing and cruel" case of animal abuse.
Last week, we told you about a video showing a man pouring what appears to be a hot liquid on a cat trapped in a small cage. We've learned the cat seen in the video died from severe burns on most of its body.
Moss Point police said the video was taken at a home in the 6200 block of Henry St. Investigators are working to find out who owns the animal, who recorded the video, and who posted it to social media.
Many have expressed outrage over the video and are asking why no one has been charged in the case. District Attorney Tony Lawrence said when the investigation is complete, the evidence will be turned over to a grand jury for review.
"What is depicted in the video is disturbing and cruel. I can ensure that this matter will be taken seriously and handled in accordance with the law," Lawrence said. "My office will assist with this investigation and, once completed, the results of same will be presented to a Jackson County Grand Jury."
The Mississippi Dog and Cat Protection Law of 2011 makes it a misdemeanor to with malice intentionally torture, mutilate, maim, burn, starve or disfigure any domesticated dog or cat. The aggravated cruelty charge carries an up to $2500 fine or up to six months in prison.
But animal advocates from the Jackson County animal shelter say the problem is the application of the law.
"I think the laws in Mississippi need to be changed they need to have stiffer penalties and they need to be followed through. People actually need to be punished and go to jail for what they do," said Jackson County Animal Shelter adoption coordinator Maridee Mallette.
They also ask people to take precaution in posting these videos to social media - because it can interfere with these cases.
"When it comes to social media, the best thing to do really would be to don't share it - try not to make it go viral. And try to locate anybody as far as law enforcement, animal control officers to step in first. The reason being is because whoever's doing it, once they see its being shared all over social media, it gives them the opportunity to get rid of the evidence," said Animal Control Officer Devin Hann.