Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies found more than narcotics when, on Saturday, they searched a car parked in Santa Clarita, California — they also found a cat with her paws taped together, reports ABC7 News.
The find resulted in the 26-year-old woman and her 23-year-old boyfriend, who were occupants in the car, being arrested. The two are now facing drug and felony animal cruelty charges.
Reportedly, the deputies first noticed the car parked behind a closed business in Santa Clarita’s Canyon Country community when they noticed drug paraphernalia outside the car. Upon further investigation, they heard a cat meowing.
“It was not happy,” Deputy Adam Halloran told ABC7. “That’s what was attracting our attention, something kind of calling to us.”
When Halloran found the cat — whose name is Lilly — she was in an overturned carrier, her paws first taped individually with electrical tape and then bound together with more tape. He told the station she “meowed in discomfort” as the deputies worked to free her.
“I mean, I own cats, that’s not how a cat should be treated,” Halloran said. And when he asked the couple why Lilly was taped and mistreated in this manner, the woman reportedly had an answer.
“She said, ‘because she had been scratching things,’” the deputy told ABC7.
Lilly has been turned over to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, which, according to authorities, also is investigating the case.
Halloran said he hopes Lilly’s sweet and loving nature will land her in a safe and loving home.