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Facebook Photo Gets Animal Abuser Busted

Written by Michelle Kretzer | December 6, 2011

In a rare case of legal protection for a rat, a Denver woman has pleaded guilty to a cruelty-to-animals charge for torturing and killing a rat. Tashaya Abbott and Alison Milke bought a rat from a pet store to feed live to a snake, but the snake did not eat the animal for four days—during which time the terrified rodent was confined to a tank with the snake. So the young women reportedly electroshocked, shot with blow darts multiple times, and finally crushed the rat to death. Evidently thinking that this animal’s horrific suffering and death were something to laugh about, Milke posted a photo of the rat to her Facebook page and boasted about the crime that they had committed.

A PETA supporter alerted us, and we immediately notified law enforcement and pushed for the women to be prosecuted.

The judge ordered Abbott to pay a $125 fine and complete 50 hours of community service and banned her from owning any animals for a year. There is still an outstanding warrant for Milke, who is believed to be in Florida now, and PETA is pushing hard for her prosecution as well.

If you spot any evidence of potential animal abuse on social-networking sites, contact PETA right away, and we will work to have the offenders prosecuted.

Commenting is closed.
  • Cornelius H. Pfeil says:

    I just don´t belive these people! Glad at least one of them got busted.

  • Jenni says:

    @Lisa commented: 12-7-2011 8:24 AM In South Africa, it’s illegal to feed live food to animals. I too wasn’t overly fond of rats until my young son was given one by his teacher. My son then gave me one for my birthday and I got a female and allowed them to breed. I totally fell in love with them. Rats make the best of pets…I cant bear the thought of them being tortured like this.

  • Jenni says:

    OMG! At one stage we kept pet rats like this and they make one of the most intelligent, sensitive, and lovable pets ever!

  • Roberta Wright says:

    I want to know how to contact Peta when there is an issue of animal abuse or neglect

  • Zee says:

    You take a life, you give a life.

  • cfoxdbq says:

    I personally own a snake that eats live rats. If my snake doesn’t eat the rat I have a cage setup with toys and treats. What she did to the rat is not right. If you can care for the rat there are quick painless ways to kill them. But of course this couple have no idea how to care for the rat and the snake and should not own any exotic animals for life. And were in the hell do you get blow darts like that??

  • ArkansasRosie says:

    This is soooo disgusting and I agree the punishment was not enuff. I’ve had pet rats and they are indeed very intelligent and playful. I also agree they should outlaw feeding live rodents to snakes. Actually they should outlaw owning snakes!

  • Elysia says:

    Ok to lisa…feeding a life animal to a reptile is just nature…snakes eat rodents. To kill an animal in a way that is not the natural course of life is so wrong. IF you didn’t want the animal then why the hell did you get it? It’s so sad. That woman should be ashamed!

  • dismayed says:

    This is so horrible. I hope this woman is really punished after her BS sentence of community service is up!

  • Way Disgusted says:

    This is absolutely horrible. How can a person even think that it is okay to do something like this to an innocent animal? How can you be proud of committing such a horrendous act? Talk about just a slap on the wrist! That sentence is nothing!

  • amie says:

    Thank u PETA and all supporters for bringing some justice to one of Gods creatures

  • jodi says:

    Cause those fines and punishments really deter people, plus who enforces the bans? It is time the laws change, keep up the amazing work PETA

  • veggie4life says:

    that is sad I’m discussed this inst a joke its just plain sad. How can someone do that to an innocent animal.

  • Lisa says:

    Yikes! Some people shouldn’t be allowed to even be NEAR animals. Just to address what a lot of people (aside from Heather) seemed to be missing here… Aside from the torture of the rat (which, admittedly was horrible and this person absolutely deserved to be punished to the fullest extent of the law for it!), what about leaving it in that cage with the snake for all of those days? What about the feeding a pet snake LIVE food? It’s not necessary! Most (if not all) pet snakes can be weaned off of eating live food and any responsible, educated, and caring snake owner knows that. It’s safer (medically and physically) for the snake and more humane for the prey. And, anyone who gives half a crap about their pet knows that you NEVER, EVER leave any food in cage for longer than a couple of hours (and that’s pushing it as far as I’m concerned)! Believe it or not, what was done was cruel and unnecessary for BOTH the snake and rat. While I understand the necessity of feeding one’s pet snake, it’s healthier, safer and more humane to feed pre-killed (as in, humanely killed and frozen) food. While I don’t think that it should be considered a crime to feed live prey to a pet snake, this person’s treatment of that snake for all of the other reasons I listed above SHOULD be considered a crime and the snake should be removed from their home. Ignorant, cruel, unfit-to-care-for-any-animal jerks like this one give all of us who share our homes with reptiles a bad name.

  • Victoria J says:

    That sentence was nothing; a slap on the wrist. They don’t deserve to have the company of animals EVER. What the hell is a year going to do? Is this judge stupid? They BOTH should be banned from owning any animals. Their actions were horrifying. Give me time with both of those two women, so that I can electroshock them and crush their bones – We’ll see how much they enjoy the torture.

  • peta-fan.norway says:

    Its soo sad. and im glad we have MUCH more strict law in Norway. 125 us is nothing. here i guess it had been closer to 15-2000 US. and if they loose the rigth to have animals,its minimum 5 yrs,most likely for life.

  • cynthia Nilson says:

    This is not severe punishment … =(

  • PaulAnthony says:

    People that get joy out of torturing innocent animals are sick in the head…there is no excuse for it.

  • Elske says:

    I can’t understand that someone can get fun out of this!! She’s no human, but a monster!! I get sick of the picture. I hope that she, and so many others, get punished for their cruel deeds with animals. ‘Cause she hasn’t got a real punishment yet.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Many years ago, a friend of mine owned a snake. One day she dropped a mouse in the habitat for Puffy’s dinner. The next morning we found Puffy (the snake) huddled terrified in the corner while the mouse was bravely holding him off. She figured the mouse had had enough and deserved amnesty so she pulled him out of there and gave him his own habitat, intending to keep him as a pet. Well, that mouse grew into the biggest, blackest Norway rat we had ever seen!! He was very tough and scarey looking, but he had the sweetest disposition until he was crossed. Needless to say he was allowed to live the remainder of his life in peace.

  • Anett says:

    Please get this guy and never let him have a pet again!

  • Cali says:

    Every day I want to vomit when I see or read about animal cruelty and become so enraged that I well up with tears because it is so sad that so many human beings are so horribly cruel in so many ways. I also stand in amazement that the punishment for these heinous crimes is so delicate. So disgusting, the people and the injustice system that lightly layers the brutal bloody corpses and jagged living bodies they leave behind. Sick – all of it! Please continue your efforts at PETA and in other areas to be the voice for all of us truly kind humans and loving creatures alike.

  • E. Cruz says:


  • Kim says:

    How disgusting! Just so you know, feeding snakes live food is not illegal on the UK, it is only illegal to cause suffering to an animal. When a snake won’t eat, live is sometimes the only option. Leaving a snake to die slowly is suffering in itself. I’m a snake keeper and I only ever feed frozen. I’m a vegetarian so that’s hard enough. I’m glad this person is being punished, shame it isn’t more, but maybe people will think twice. I’m sure I speak for most snake keepers when I say what they did to that rat was disgusting.

  • Susanne Cooper says:

    Banned from having animals for a year…thats ridiculous. Do these people think that after not having an animal for a year that they will learn the error of their ways…no way. Animal abusers are twisted and will stay that way for life. By not banning them for life they are giving so many animals an early and painful death sentence! Absolutely ridiculous!

  • caddie says:

    There’s no way that woman was human?? What trash do u have to be to bring yourself to do that to an innocent animal and still have the nerve to enjoy it? The judge shouldve demanded psychotherapy as well!!

  • Joey says:

    This is sad and disgusting. I’m glad she was busted though the penalty is not severe enough. You should never be allowed to own a pet ever again if you do this

  • Joan iLott says:

    keep up the good work Peta.

  • patiencepending says:

    50 hours community service…. THAT IT?

  • Roxana says:

    The thought of the fear and pain the rat went through makes me want do the same to the people who tortured it. I think that 125$ fine is nothing, they shoudl have gotten jail time.

  • Sarah says:

    Good job PETA, bad job justice. I have received bigger parking fines!

  • SUSAN says:


  • lizia niema says:

    Some time ago paging through an album on Facebook depicting animals in amusing situations, some of it reworked, manipulated (photoshopping), I came across a horrendous photo of a cat being stripped by young men. It was sickening and I reported the photo. Something must be very wrong with the publisher of this photo. Cruelty towards animals is a sure sign of domestic violence too.

  • juniors-mummy says:

    A year ban from keeping animals and a find WOW. In my eyes if you can do this to a defenceless terrified animal you can do it to a child it is horrific and I honestly just do not understand humans any more!!! It should a eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth regardless if it’s an animal or a fellow human that the crime is committed on.

  • Elvar says:

    These women shouldn’t be allowed to go to a zoo or a pet store and the police should take pictures of them and put up in every zoo and pet stores in the world saying ”These women shouldn’t be allowed in here!” and they should have got a life time of community service and pay 125 million dollars for their disgusting and horrible crime!

  • veronica says:

    These people are vile! They deserve a much harder punishment. Anyone who enjoys the suffering of another creature is pure evil and doesn’t deserve any leniency with their conviction!!!!

  • jonnest says:

    D; poor animal.

  • Emily Kil says:

    Bravo PETA.

  • Isabella Ireland says:

    I’m thankful to PETA for pushing for justice.

  • Maja says:

    It´s absolutely appalling that people can do such a thing to a small and defenseless animal! I’m surprised she did not get a higher and worse punishment! It doesn´t matter if it’s a mouse, a cat or a horse, the size of the animal is not what counts, because all animals feel pain no matter how big or small it is! I think she should never be allowed to own an animal again in her whole life!

  • immy says:

    I personally think any animal cruelty/ murder should be treated as it would if the act was upon a human. jail for life, etc.

  • Anja says:


  • Disgusted says:

    I am disgusted, ashamed and repulsed to be the same species as the one that committed this horrendous crime.

  • lisa says:

    Honestly what is wrong with your country??? to allow people to feed reptiles live rodents?? Totally disgusting, ive never been fond of rats not untill my daughter got 2, what beautiful extremley intelligent animals they are, i cant help but pick them up when i visit and give them a cuddle they love a cuddle and sit on your shoulder and want to lick your face or try and nibble my nose studs,they are very naughty lol but love them to bits.

  • Pau a says:

    She was given a slap on the wrist for torturing this poor rat. It makes it even worse that she is proud of what was done by posting photos. What is wrong with people? Disgusting!

  • Peta Fan says:

    🙁 it’s sad

  • Furious says:

    That is not nearly a severe enough punishment!!!!!!!!!!

  • Heather says:

    Oh my god, the rat looks just like my best boy who passed on years ago and my girl, Flutter. I feel sick. Who would do this!!?

    It is long overdue time to enforce protection for mice and rats! In the UK, it is ILLEGAL to feed a reptile live rodents. Why can’t that be the case here in the US as well? There are plenty of places to get frozen food for reptiles, and placing a live rat in with a snake that isn’t immediately hungry is cruel to the snake as well. Even small mice can inflict fatal wounds on pythons and boas. This bs needs to STOP ONCE AND FOR ALL.

  • Rat King says:

    This criminal person should never again be allowed to have animals – never again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • veggie_chick221 says:

    This is disgusting. The picture is horrendous and the act is even more so. How can anyone think this is funny? It’s cruelty for goodness sakes! Those women should have gotten a much harder sentence for such a crime and should never be allowed to be even near an animal again, let alone have one live in their house. I am outright repulsed.