Middletown man accused of hanging, beating cat to death

Animal cruelty arrest in Butler County

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - A Middletown man is facing felony animal cruelty charges because the Butler County Dog Warden says the man hung and then beat a young cat to death.

Andrew Chilton, 19, is charged with cruelty to companion animals.

Warden Kurt Merbs said Chilton's ex-girlfriend contacted the warden's office after she was sent a link to a Google photos web page that she said included photos of her deceased cat.

In the photos, the cat, Merbs says, can be seen hanging from a noose in a basement. In other pictures, the cat appears to be bloody, beaten, and deceased.

Merbs says his office launched an investigation and discovered that Chilton had hung the cat from the noose, and when that didn't kill it, Chilton beat the cat to death with an object.

"This is probably the first time where I've had an animal that was hung," said Merbs.

Merbs described the cat as not a kitten, but young enough to not be an adult cat.

"This is one of the most heinous acts of cruelty I have seen in this county. I'm proud of the Deputy Dog Wardens for their diligent work and getting this guy locked up. Obviously he has some serious issues if he feels he has to harm an innocent animal," said Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones.

Investigators believe Chilton killed the cat to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend, who he also has a child with and a second on the way, and then sent her a link to the photos to be vindictive.

Chilton, according to Merbs, admitted to killing the animal, but claims he was drunk and that it had nothing to do with his ex. Merbs also said that Chilton, while confessing, laughed about what he had done.

"It was very disturbing," said Merbs. "To know someone is capable of something like that is scary."

Merbs said Chilton has been arrested and will likely be heading to the Middletown Jail where he will await his first court appearance.

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